Since she was a young girl, Sheila Hollow Horn knew she wanted to be an engineer.
With three uncles who are engineers, Hollow Horn knew that was her path, too.
“People keep saying, ‘You might change your mind,’ but the older I get, the more interested I get,” she said.
In 2010, Hollow Horn enrolled at Coconino Community College, with plans to attain her associate of science degree and transition to Northern Arizona University for a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Despite a busy schedule from an active modeling career, being an American Indian activist and part of the NAU ROTC program, Hollow Horn has racked up several scholarships, including from the Navajo Nation, American Indian Services scholarship and AIScE scholarship through NAU.
Hollow Horn, 26, grew up on the Navajo Reservation and heard about CCC from older family members.
“I knew the class sizes were smaller and it was more affordable,” Hollow Horn said.
She also had an interest in the military, where her father and uncles all served.
“I plan on using my degree in mechanical engineering to benefit the military,” Hollow Horn said. By the time she graduates from NAU, she will be a fully commissioned officer in the United States Air Force.
Through the help of the CCC2NAU program, Hollow Horn currently takes classes at both CCC and NAU. She also took advantage of another CCC2NAU perk – living on NAU campus in a residence hall.
Hollow Horn, who is part Navajo and part Oglala Lakota, is also an active member of the American Indian Movement of Northern Arizona. The activist organization represents Native Americans who have had their civil rights violated, provides information and supports Native American tribes, Hallow Horn said.
“AIM keeps my awareness toward my tribes,” she said.
Hollow Horn also works to encourage others to attend college. When she meets young people, she gives them this advice.
“Go see an advisor,” she said. “You don’t have to have your mind made up on what you want to study. The advisors will help you draw out a plan for you.”