On October 6, 2023, CEO, Pete Upton participated as a speaker in the Johnson Scholarship Foundation’s annual meeting held in Scottsdale, Arizona. The gathering brought together representatives from ten schools that actively participate in the foundation’s business scholarship programs.

The Foundation exists to serve disadvantaged people by assisting them to obtain education and employment. Since 1992 our Entrepreneurship Scholarship program has provided scholarships to Indigenous students who study business or entrepreneurship. The Foundation also has made capacity-building grants to aid the establishment of business and entrepreneurship training in Indigenous communities.

During the meeting, Upton introduced attendees to organizations dedicated to business and economic development within Native American communities. Upton also announced that the Native CDFI Network was submitting the only Native-led application for the Clean Communities Investment Accelerator (CCIA). This application carried significant implications, not only for environmental sustainability but also for inspiring students to consider green energy-related studies and career paths. By participating in CCIA, Native CDFIs were taking the lead in driving green energy initiatives, aligning them with educational pursuits, and offering students opportunities to contribute to a more sustainable future.