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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Anahuacalmecac IndigeNations Scholars Native Student Awards presented by Native Ways 2 College

May 31, 2023


Press contact:

Jamie Rocha



LOS ANGELES, CA. Native Ways 2 College proudly announces the first annual Anahuacalmecac IndigeNations Scholars Native Student Award Ceremony, which will take place on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at Grand Park in Downtown Los Angeles. The celebratory event will honor Los Angeles County Native American high school students from federally and non-federally recognized tribes who are graduating the 2022-2023 school year and their accomplishments in academics, community-building, and culture. Graduating seniors from local high schools from across Los Angeles County will be celebrated for their academic achievements.

“We commend the class of 2023 for graduating high school and want them to be proud of their academic accomplishments,” Native Ways 2 College Project Advisor and College Advisor Lucia Preciado said. “ Acknowledging this year's graduating class sets a precedent for other Native American students, because ultimately, we want to shift the narrative of Native student invisibility across our local school districts. With this award ceremony, we remember and honor that these youth also carry cultural knowledge, identity, strength, and resilience that evolved from this land, which will help them adjust to a different place and challenges that may come up in their college journey.”

Native American student graduation is an academic accomplishment that Native Ways 2 College (NW2C) seeks to celebrate on its first annual celebration, but it also brings attention to the low number of American Indian students that reach this milestone at the end of their grade school years. According to the latest publicly available data, an estimated 250 American Indian students are expected to graduate from district and charter high schools across Los Angeles County. However, the data indicates that only a few over half of those graduates achieve college eligibility according to state standards. As of 2022, American Indian dropout rates have steadied at 20%, meaning that in actuality college eligibility rates for American Indian students are really closer to 30% countywide and only 24% statewide. By contrast, 100% of all NW2C seniors are graduating college ready.

Statewide, greater attention is being called for support of American Indian student achievement. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed AB 1703, a bill proposed by Assemblymember James Ramos, which “encourages local educational agencies and charter schools to form the California Indian Education Task Forces with local tribes to develop curricular materials that highlight the unique history, culture and government of tribes in their region.” ( 

According to Marcos Aguilar, NW2C’s founder, “This is why NW2C was established by Anahuacalmecac as a strategy to close the gap between high school graduation and access to higher education.” The NW2C ecosystem seeks to uplift Native American students to be college ready with the support of schools, local organizations, tribes, and statewide efforts to identify and acknowledge Native American student presence in schools, and intentionally support their academic journey and preparation for higher education with culturally relevant programs and resources.

Students, parents, educators, school leaders, local Native American organizations, and Tribal offices can learn more about Native Ways 2 College by visiting High school seniors graduating this academic year who are interested in participating in the June ceremony can register on the Native Ways 2 College website at Deadline to register is May 31, 2023. 

WHEN: Sunday, June 4, 2023, 10am - 12pm

WHERE: Grand Park

WHY: Celebrating native excellence in Los Angeles County by honoring Native American 

high school graduates in their amazing achievements in academics, community, and culture.


The AIR initiative and the NW2C Project was designed by Anahuacalmecac, an Indigenous community-based charter school in Los Angeles, and has partnered with the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians and the Gabrielino-Shoshone Tribal Council of Southern California, community-based organizations, and other local service providers to offer year-round, high quality culturally relevant educational and mental wellness services in Los Angeles to impact 1000 students across tribal identities, districts, and schools. NW2C’s programming will inspire and cultivate students’ Native identities creating pathways to high school graduation, college enrollment, and retention.


AIUPNA consciously strives to provide students effective and comprehensive pedagogy through a globally inclusive curriculum within a positive supportive learning environment involving students, teachers, parents, and staff.  The mission is to regenerate positive community among Indigenous Peoples through the stewardship of land and facilities for the educational, cultural and ceremonial practices and needs of Indigenous Peoples.

"On Native American Day, Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Support California Native Communities, Advance Equity and Inclusion," September 23, 2022.

To download this press release as a PDF, click below:

IndigeNations Scholars Native Student Press Release Official
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