New Mexico Community Foundation hosted a gathering during Indian Market in August for alumni of the former Native American Preparatory School in Rowe, N.M. NMCF shared information about the Native American Preparatory Scholars (NAPS) Fund, and alumni discussed issues, barriers, and root causes of low graduation rates for Native students.

The NAPS fund was established in 2010 with proceeds from the sale of the school property, after NAPS closed in 2002. Today, the goal of the NAPS Fund is to support organizations that work to increase the number of New Mexico Native American students who enroll in and graduate from college.

An advisory committee comprising tribal educators, NMCF board members, and other interested partners oversee the fund’s grantmaking and other activities. The August event marked the first time NMCF has hosted a gathering of NAPS alumni, and afterward, three agreed to serve on the advisory committee in order to advise how the fund can support Native American students moving forward.