In Their Words: Raymond Leroy LeBeau
Raymond Leroy LeBeau is the 2016 recipient of the Walsh Family Scholarship.
Raymond Leroy LeBeau
What Scholarship did you receive?
What year are you (1st year, 3rd year)?
Where do you call home?
Sacramento, CA and the Pitt River Nation.
With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?
The Environmental Studies program, the American Indian Resource Center and the location of the University campus influenced my decision to attend UC Santa Cruz.
What is your field of focus?
Environmental Studies: Political Economy
What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?
Once I graduate from UC Santa Cruz, I plan to be a resource for Native youth in my community and I hope to attend graduate school for Environmental Studies. I also hope to use my education in Environmental Studies to work for American Indian Tribes.
What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?
One memorable moment that stands out to me comes from an experience I had in writing 2. The course was titled American Indian Pose, Poetry and Film with Professor Robin Somers and we were required to submit a final research paper and present on a topic of our choice. My group chose to write and present about the protection of the Medicine Lake Highlands from geothermal development in the Modoc National Forest. This project was significant to me because Medicine Lake, originally known as Saht Tit Lah, is a Sacred Site to many California Indian Tribes, in particular, the Pitt River Nation of North-Eastern California.
After writing the paper and presenting with my group, I noted many interesting coincidences, for example: our primary source was a Professor Emeritus from UCSC and the issue we were writing about was a potential threat to California’s water supply. In this moment, I had a lot of realizations about American Indian tribes, UCSC, the environment—and my place within all three.
All in all, I felt a special connection to this final project and I learned how I want to spend my time here at UCSC.
How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?
First and foremost, I am honored and humbled to be a recipient of the Walsh Family Award. By receiving this scholarship, I am grateful that my efforts as an active student have been recognized. I feel inspired to continue working on projects with the People of Color Sustainability Collective and the American Indian Resource Center and to continue pursuing my interests within Environmental Studies. I believe the Walsh Family Award will help me overcome many of the barriers that I face attending this University.
As a result, this award will greatly aid in my retention as a Pitt River Student in ENVS and it will improve my overall experience here at UCSC.
This scholarship means very much to me and by receiving this award I feel that my space and my efforts on campus have been validated.
In addition, I think it is a reminder that I need to continue to work hard to help my community both on and off campus. In final words, I believe this award not only impacts my academic life, but honors those who came before me, and I hope that this scholarship transcends through my success, and impacts those who will come after me.