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Six Osage youth take part in inaugural Health Career Scholarship

When visiting the Wah-Zha-Zhi Health Center this summer, patients may have noticed six Osage youth shadowing nurses and doctors, or working in other areas of the center. Those six youths were taking part in the Health Career Summer Scholarship, and each one enjoyed the experience.

The summer scholarship funded six high school juniors or seniors for a four-week internship that rotated through all departments within the Nation’s Health and Wellness Divisions. Designed to encourage the students to look seriously at a career in the health field, the students received a stipend of $1,920 and a housing allowance of $500.

Participants included Isaac Jake, 17, who will be a senior at Hominy High School; Noah Shadlow, 17, who will be a senior at Hominy High School; Blue Starr, 17, who will be a senior at Pawhuska High School; McKenna Boyce, 15, who will be a junior at Tulsa Public Schools; Lee Bowman, 17, who will be a senior at Woodland High School (Fairfax) and Jet Thomas, 17, who will be a senior at Pawhuska High School.

“My favorite part about being an intern was learning about all the health stuff that goes on around here, how everything works and how everyone here is useful. Everyone is really busy,” Thomas said. “It’s a very respectful thing to our people and for our tribe because having a good health care system is good to have.”

According to a prepared release, there is a shortage in all fields of health care worldwide and the scholarship came about after Osage Congressman Ron Shaw sponsored ONCA 16-80, an appropriation to fund and create the program. Shaw is also a medical doctor.


The students all had positive reviews of their four-week experience.

Bowman: “The best thing about this program is seeing what it takes to make a clinic run and go smoothly and properly. After I graduate I want to go into the medical field to become a pediatrician. One of the things that I’ve learned from this program is that knowledge is power. The more knowledge you have about anything really, business or medical field, and whatever it really takes. It’s best to know as much as possible.”

Boyce: “The best part that I enjoyed was being able to go with the nurses and seeing what they do, and seeing what all the different departments do.”

Jake: “The best part about this internship is being able to see all departments, the clinics, and public health. I really want to try to see what I want to do when I get older. I want to be an athletic trainer after I graduate. One of the things I learned from here that helped me a lot was from the fitness center guys, that’s it good to have flexibility and the different workouts that you can do.”

Shadlow: “My favorite part about this internship was going into Optometry and working with Dr. Walker. I learned how all of the eye examining machines work. It was really cool. After I graduate high school I’m thinking about pursuing a health or a law career. Having a law and health career is good just in case you have health related cases.”

Starr: “The best thing about this internship is everything is hands on. We have got to learn different things about each department. I thought it was pretty keen. After high school, I plan on going to college and pursuing medical practice; probably in sport science.”

Thomas: “After high school I want to get into the medical field. I want to go to nursing school to be a nurse practitioner. One thing I’ve learned from these guys is always be able to maintain what you do. Learn from other people’s mistakes. Study better and make good choices.”



Chalene Toehay-Tartsah,

Shannon Shaw Duty

Original Publish Date: 2017-08-10 00:00:00


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Shannon Shaw Duty
Shannon Shaw Duty

Title: Editor


Twitter: @dutyshaw

Topic Expertise: Columnist, Culture, Community

Languages spoken: English, Osage (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)

Shannon Shaw Duty, Osage from the Grayhorse District, is the editor of the award-winning Osage News, the official independent media of the Osage Nation. She is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and a master’s degree in Legal Studies with an emphasis in Indigenous Peoples Law. She currently sits on the Freedom of Information Committee for the Society of Professional Journalists. She has served as a board member for LION Publishers, as Vice President for the Pawhuska Public Schools Board of Education, on the Board of Directors for the Native American Journalists Association (now Indigenous Journalists Association) and served as a board member and Chairwoman for the Pawhuska Johnson O’Malley Parent Committee. She is a Chips Quinn Scholar, a former instructor for the Freedom Forum’s Native American Journalism Career Conference and the Freedom Forum’s American Indian Journalism Institute. She is a former reporter for The Santa Fe New Mexican. She is a 2012 recipient of the Native American 40 Under 40 from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2014 she helped lead the Osage News to receive NAJA's Elias Boudinot Free Press Award. The Osage News won Best Newspaper from the SPJ-Oklahoma Chapter in their division 2018-2022. Her award-winning work has been published in Indian Country Today, The Washington Post, the Center for Public Integrity, NPR, the Associated Press, Tulsa World and others. She currently resides in Pawhuska, Okla., with her husband and together they share six children, two dogs and two cats.

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