The Cal Alumni Association Native American Scholarship (CAANAS) is a one-year, merit-based award that recognizes Native American students at UC Berkeley for leadership, community involvement, and contributions to the Indigenous community. This scholarship is available to all Native American students at Cal, including incoming first-year and junior transfer students. The 2021–2022 academic year marked the inaugural offering of this scholarship.
Poppy Zingarelli-Gallegos is a sophomore at Berkeley studying Native American studies. An urban-Native woman born and raised in Ramaytush Ohlone Territory (San Francisco), she is Navajo, Jicarilla Apache, and Taos Pueblo. Her passion is teaching youth about Indigenous history and the relevance that it continues to have today. She works part-time at the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco as a Youth Development Coordinator. A loyal Club member since the age of six, Poppy has also attended their sleep-away summer camp, Camp Mendocino. She has been working with the Camp administration to help bring Native American education to Camp, which would include inviting Native youth from the Mendocino area to attend as campers. In her spare time, Poppy likes doing beadwork, writing, and cooking.
I am a Native American single mother of three boys. I was born and raised in Richmond, CA. I am from the Mono tribe, enrolled member of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California. My major is American studies, emphasizing in mass incarceration. I want to utilize my degree so that I can help tackle the problem of the high incarceration rate in my community. I want to open transitional homes for individuals who are paroling out of prison and open up an at risk youth center in my hometown. I want to be able to provide my fellow formerly incarcerated Native Americans a place where our traditions and culture are welcomed, along with other resources, so that they do not reoffend and can become productive members of society. By opening up the at-risk youth center, I will be able to help prevent the youth in my hometown from entering the correctional system. In providing these services, I can help restore the value and worth in our adults and youth, so that they can unlock the power and potential that is within themselves. Hopefully, I can be an inspiration to them to want to make a change.
My name is Parker Yazzie-Umberger and I am a first-year Navajo student at Cal studying political science. I was raised in Phoenix, Arizona, surrounded by strong indigenous women who encouraged me to seek out a multitude of passions while simultaneously giving back to my community. I participated in competitive running, fine art photography, foreign language clubs, but always prioritized service projects that allowed me to give back to native families while learning about my people. The knowledge I gained in these settings has motivated me to pursue a career in politics to further provide aid to native communities and reduce the effects of systemic oppression.
Read more about Parker’s experience at Cal and beyond.