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NYPA Announces Winners of Scholarships for Tuscarora Nation Funded Through Relicensing of Niagara Project

Connie Cullen

August 13, 2008


LEWISTON—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) recently honored two winners of this year’s Niagara Power Project Relicensing Scholarships for Members of the Tuscarora Nation.   

NYPA Regional Manager for Western New York, Horace Horton, presented the scholarship award certificates to Mia McKie of the Turtle Clan and Wayland Wilson from the Deer Clan at the Power Vista, the visitors center for the Niagara project, as families of the two scholarship winners looked on. 

“The new license for the Power Authority’s Niagara project brings many benefits to Western New York, not the least of which are these scholarships since investing in education for students like Mia and Wayland makes an investment for the future of our state and the Tuscarora Nation,” said Regional Manager Horton.  “On behalf of everyone at the Power Authority, we congratulate these bright young people on their efforts and salute their families for giving them the confidence to achieve.”

The Power Authority provides two full tuition scholarships annually—for both academic excellence and community service—under a settlement agreement with the Tuscarora Nation for its support during the relicensing of the Niagara project.  This is the second year of a 50-year annual commitment by NYPA to fund these scholarships.   

The full-tuition scholarships, to any school in the State University of New York (SUNY) system, were awarded on May 15 at Culture Night at the Tuscarora Elementary School by the Tuscarora Scholarship Committee.  

Both McKie and Wilson graduated this year from Niagara Wheatfield High School.   

McKie will attend the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, a contract college in the SUNY system, to study Agriculture.  SUNY has five contract colleges, with four at Cornell and one at Alfred University, offering courses of study at a blended tuition rate.  

Wilson will be a student at Niagara County Community College where he will study Digital Media. 

Both McKie and Wilson have made significant achievements in their academic studies and in community service. 

McKie maintained a 4.0 grade point average throughout high school, and received numerous awards for academic and athletic accomplishments.  Among those awards are the 2007 Tewaaraton Scholarship and Native High School Player Award, the 2005-2006 Scholar Athlete Award for Basketball, the 2006-2007 Scholar Athlete Award for Soccer and the 2003-2004 United States Congressional President’s Award.  In 2007, she was also nominated for scholar athlete in Section VI Western New York Girls Basketball. 

McKie’s community service efforts include participating in the Indian Defense League of America Border Crossing, volunteer tutoring at the Niagara Charter School and training beginner girls field lacrosse players from the Tuscarora Nation. 

Wilson’s academic honors for 2008 include First Place, Skills USA Competition TV-Video Production Category; Second Place Digital Media Class Video Competition; and Orleans-Niagara Teachers’ Center Logo Competition Winner.  In 2006-2007, he received the Certificate of Dedication and Work Ethic. 

Wilson participates in a wide variety of community work, including preparing and delivering holiday baskets, holiday gift wrapping at the Tuscarora Elementary School, organizing the Community Halloween’s celebration and parade, assisting at the Tuscarora Community Fair and helping in the fundraising efforts for the North American Indigenous Games Athletes.

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 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.  ■   For more information, please go to

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