Vazquez is a recipient of the Coyote Legacy Scholarship, which honors families who have made a multi-generational commitment to USD.

“Receiving the Legacy Scholarship means a lot to me,” Vazquez said. “Without my mother’s time and dedication to education, I wouldn’t have been eligible for it. I’m grateful I can follow in her footsteps and attend USD.”

Vazquez’s mother, Gayle (Johnson) Stone Arrow, graduated from USD in 1987 with a B.S. in medical technology. When her son received the Coyote Legacy Scholarship, she said the first thought that came to her mind was the word 'legacy.'

“This word describes not only me, but all the previous USD graduates and their perseverance and efforts to complete their education,” Stone Arrow said. “I am so proud of Angel and all his accomplishments. Receiving the Coyote Legacy Scholarship was extra special because I am proud to be a USD graduate and am happy my son chose an amazing university to attend and carry on the legacy.”

A photo of Angel Vazquez and his mother Gayle.

“As a first-generation college student, my mom paved the way for me,” Vazquez said. “Without her advice and guidance, I don’t know if I’d be in the position I am currently in. It means a lot to me to be able to attend the same university she did.”

Vazquez graduated from Flandreau High School this past spring and while at home, he spent a lot of time at his local tribal recreational center engaging in his culture. Vazquez’s desire to about Indigenous culture, as well as his passion for studying history and other cultures, will continue into his college experience at USD.

“I chose USD because of the resources and support I’ll receive as an Indigenous person,” Vazquez said. “The community, major availability and the support services available for Indigenous students played a major role in my decision. I am most excited for the Wiyuskinyan Unpi Tipi. The opportunity to be surrounded by other Indigenous people means a lot to me.”

The Wiyuskinyan Unpi Tipi – which translates from Lakota to "they are living contently" – is a USD Living Learning Community dedicated to Native American or Indigenous students and/or Native American studies majors and minors.

Planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, with a specialization in cultural anthropology, Vazquez hopes to someday work with the National Park Service to preserve Indigenous history, including language, art and teachings.

About the Coyote Legacy Scholarship

The Coyote Legacy Scholarship Program honors families who have made a multi-generational commitment to the University of South Dakota. The program provides a limited number of $1,000 scholarships to be awarded to incoming freshmen students who are South Dakota residents and whose parent(s) or legal guardian(s) also graduated from USD.

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