Throughout the United States, Native American communities suffer from a lack of qualified professionals—teachers, engineers, doctors, communication specialists, business managers, social workers and technicians. Well-paying jobs exist in Indian communities, but few Indians are prepared to fill them. Hospitals, dental clinics, schools, engineering and agricultural projects remain understaffed and seriously unable to meet community needs.
Founded in 1986, Catching the Dream strives to help improve the quality of life in Indian communities through the higher education of Indian people by providing scholarship funds to native college students who demonstrate academic achievement, clearly defined goals, leadership, the determination to succeed, and the desire to return to their communities and help others realize their dreams. The award is offered three times a year. Applicants must be a quarter or more degree Native American and an enrolled member of a federally recognized U.S. tribe, attending college or university full-time and seeking a BA or higher.