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Press Release

Release Date: May 25, 2021
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Robin Monetathchi is one of the many students able to complete her education using the valuable Chickasaw Nation School-To-Work program. It provided her the opportunity to pursue a full-time college degree while receiving compensation and on-the-job training.

"I thought it was impossible to finish my degree that I had started almost 20 years ago,” Monetathchi said. “I was working full time, raising two small children, and had a mortgage payment and bills. School-to-work helped me become a proud first generation college graduate.”

Monetathchi credits the Chickasaw Nation with her educational success. Having spent two years in college during her early 20s, she believes the school-to-work program benefits both traditional students and older, nontraditional students like herself. She was able to incorporate education, a strong family life and career into her full schedule to better her overall quality of life.

“The school-to-work program worked around my school’s schedule,” Monetathchi said. “Each semester could be different. Typically, I would go to my 8 a.m. classes and then go to work. Some days I would have breaks between my morning classes. I could work during these times and go back to school when I had to. I was paid my regular hours.”

On-the-job training provides school-to-work students with specific types of employment opportunities related to their course of study. While working in these positions, students receive superior instruction and invaluable work experience. This better prepares students to enter the corporate world upon graduation.

“It was easy to get accepted into the program,” Monetathchi said. “I had the same job for two years while in school. It really helped out.”

The program is open to Chickasaw citizens with a high school diploma, GED or high school equivalency. Applicants must be in good academic standing and have pending or current enrollment in an accredited college or vocational program.

Partnering with other departments and businesses within the Chickasaw Nation, the school-to-work program allows the Chickasaw Nation to “grow our own” by providing student participants with real-world work experience while attending school.

Monetathchi is using her education to give back to the Chickasaw Nation. Graduating with a degree from East Central University, she currently works as an internal auditor for the Chickasaw Nation.

“I wanted to stay with the tribe once I was done with school,” Monetathchi said. “It is a great place to work, and the leadership is the best.”

Deadline to apply for the Chickasaw Nation School-To-Work program is May 31. Accepted participants will begin the program in June 2021. Contact Chickasaw Employment Access at (580) 276-1849, email CEANavigation@Chickasaw.net, or visit Chickasaw.net/SchoolToWork for more information.