Bemidji State University’s American Indian Resource Center has a new interim outreach specialist.
According to a release, Ron Wilson has worked as an admissions representative at BSU in the past, and has experience as a motivational musician and advocate for higher education among American Indian students.
“I signed with a record label in 2008 and toured full-time for about eight years, really focusing on helping underrepresented youth overcome barriers and challenges,” he said. “A big thing for me is talking about higher ed. I wouldn’t be where I am at without it. Going to college really forced me to grow up, be more responsible and helped me understand a whole new world around me.”
Wilson, in his new role, will bring American Indian students to campus and help them through the applications and financial aid processes, as well as strengthen relationships between BSU and northern Minnesota’s four tribal colleges.
“I really have a heart for not only our native students, but underrepresented students in general,” he said. “Being one of those students growing up and seeing the world from that perspective has helped me flip around and want to help those who are in the same situation that I was in.”
Wilson attended school at Bemidji State University and Oak Hills Christian College, and was a first-generation college student. He also spent time at Bemidji Area Schools as their Indian education career and academic advisor.
“I want to continue building relationships with local Indian ed programs, but also within the inner city. I think we have a lot of students in the inner city who want to come back up North and learn the culture and learn our language,” he said. “I want to reach the students who have lived in the city their whole lives — the ones who are thinking ‘I’m Native American – what does that mean?’”
Wilson began in his new role last week.