The award was presented by Frances Knott, President, Bruce Sunrise, Vice President, and Fred Curtis, Board Member. They cited Ernest’s academic accomplishments, Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Education and Choral Music from USC, his teaching career in public schools and at UCLA, his contributions as Artistic Director of the Pass Chorale and Orchestra, and his role as founder and President of Dorothy Ramon Learning Center.
The organization presents this award annually to an American Indian who can serve as a role model to the students they serve.
The organization and their Scholarship Partners, Blue Sky Children’s Foundation, The Knott Family, Native American Institute, Wilson W. Phelps Foundation, Ray W. and Barbara Schumaker, and Kari Schumaker, raise funds strictly from private sources. At this event, they presented more than $54 thousand in scholarships to 31 students attending colleges in California. Both undergraduate and graduate students received scholarships. One recipient, Vince Whipple, now pursuing a doctorate, plans an academic career. He was a student in Ernest Siva’s UCLA class, and said that Ernest was a role model for him.
Student awardees were from Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona and several California reservations. All students gave short speeches expressing their thanks for the support provided bye Little Eagle Free, Inc.
More information about this wonderful organization, including how to apply for scholarships, can be found at www.littleeaglefree.org.