"Misplaced Trust"

"Stolen Indigenous land is the foundation of the land-grant university system. Climate change is its legacy."

"Alina Sierra needs $6,405. In 2022, the 19-year-old Tohono O’odham student was accepted to the University of Arizona, her dream school. She would be the first in her family to go to college.

Her godfather used to take her to the university’s campus when she was a child, and their excursions could include a stop at the turtle pond or lunch at the student union. Her grandfather also encouraged her, saying: “You’re going to be here one day.”

“Ever since then,” said Sierra. “I wanted to go.”

Then the financial reality set in. Unable to afford housing either on or off campus, she couch-surfed her first semester. Barely able to pay for meals, she turned to the campus food pantry for hygiene products. “One week I would get soap; another week, get shampoo,” she said. Without reliable access to the internet, and with health issues and a long bus commute, her grades began to slip. She was soon on academic probation."

Tristan Ahtone, Robert Lee, Amanda Tachine, An Garagiola, Audrianna Goodwin, Maria Parazo Rose, and Clayton Aldern report for Grist February 7, 2024. This project was supported by the Pulitzer Center, the Data-Driven Reporting Project, and the Bay & Paul Foundation.

Source: Grist, 02/08/2024