Numbers may be a challenge for some college students, but for Paula Bremner, who attends Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana, they are part of her plans for a career in business.
Bremner is a third cousin of the late, iconic Elouise Cobell, and has shared her interest in banking. The 20-year-old Blackfeet Nation member said being the 2010 youth coordinator for the Mini Bank program was the “most interesting and helpful work” she’s done because she “got to teach the youth about different bank accounts and how to save their money. I also got to learn more about banking myself because I had to take financial literacy classes as a graduation requirement at Browning High School.”
The Mini Bank program was established by the Native American Community Development Corporation at Browning Middle School in 1996 “to encourage children to save and promote sound money management.”
Bremner said she plans to transfer in 2012 to either Salish Kootenai College, a tribal college in Pablo, Montana, or the University of Montana to pursue a bachelor’s degree after she completes the Associate of Arts degree in business management at Blackfeet Community College.
She is vice president of her college’s American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) chapter, which won Chapter of the Year at the organization’s national conference held in March in Phoenix, Arizona.
Bremner participates in other activities, including the Catholic Youth Coalition group. “We try to do at least one community service project a month,” she said. The group has painted the local shelter, cleaned local cemeteries, repaired baseball fields, given clothes to the needy, prepared community-wide meals, and they plan to do much more.
Although education is the focus of her immediate future, down the road she said she plans to own a recreational center for youth and to include her son, Tanner, now 11 months old in activities of the center when he is older.
In addition to her service activities, she has been on the dean’s list with a 4.0 GPA for two semesters and has received the state governor’s $500 award, the $1,250 Travers Foundation scholarship for two semesters, and a $1,250 MetLife Inc. scholarship for the current semester.
At her high school in Browning, she was an officer of several organizations, including the AIBL, Science Club, Future Farmers of America, Film Club and others. She participated in softball, basketball, and volleyball. She received honorable mention in volleyball statewide from the Montana High School Association and Academic All State, administered by Browning public schools, for having an outstanding writing assessment in her senior year at Browning High School. The assessment is awarded to one student whose writing is best in each year of high school by a three-judge panel from Browning Public Schools.
She was also a student representative for Student Council, was on the Honor Roll, Student of the Year at Browning High School and Student of the Year at the 2009 AIBL National Conference in Las Vegas.
AIBL is a Native nonprofit organization meant to empower business students and increase the representation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in business and entrepreneurial ventures.