SHERIDAN — The First People’s Center for Education in Sheridan has received a $5,000 donation from Safeco Insurance in honor of Executive Director Charitina Fritzler, who recently received its Community Hero Award.
Just 16 people across the nation received the Community Hero Award. An ongoing online voting contest will give the 16 winners a chance to win additional money. The top two winners will receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively for their represented organizations.
Holly Walker and Jennifer Huffman, of Wyoming Financial Insurance in Sheridan, nominated Fritzler for the award.
“Charitina Fritzler is a true force for good in Sheridan,” Walker said. “Her work with First People’s Center for Education doesn’t simply make our community better; it also inspires others to get involved and make an impact. That’s what the Safeco Community Hero Award is all about.”
The FPCFE program aims to improve the quality of education in Native communities and help students go on to college.
The organization targets schools with significant populations of Native children and helps to build a solid foundation of knowledgeable teachers, administrators and other leaders who can help students early in their academic careers, rather than waiting until high school to address issues.
Fritzler and her staff believe that early involvement is crucial to level the playing field for a population of students that can easily fall behind.
As executive director of FPCFE, Fritzler works with experts in early learning to promote and support effective teaching in indigenous communities.
Currently, the center is providing services to more than 220 elementary school teachers at 20 schools in four states, reaching more than 3,500 students.
Fritzler’s personal experience informs her work with the center. She is a member of the Crow Tribe in Montana.
“I feel grateful and privileged to be an active part of making the dream of educational equality a reality for America’s indigenous people,” Fritzler said.
Safeco Community Hero Awards honor local heroes and nonprofit organizations that have a positive impact in education, health and safety, or civic engagement and support the community involvement of independent agents.
“The Safeco Community Hero Awards allow us to contribute to the work our independent agent partners do every day to strengthen their communities,” said Safeco Insurance President Matt Nickerson. “We are honored to support our agents by recognizing the local heroes and nonprofit organizations they champion.”
To cast your vote, visit http://promoshq.wildfireapp.com/website/6/contests/323735.
Voting ends at 11 a.m. June 3.