August 12, 2022

Education Forward Arizona & Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Announce New Navajo Code Talkers Scholarship

$3 million in scholarships created to honor the selfless service that 400 Navajo Code Talkers made to the United States during World War II

Just ahead of National Navajo Code Talkers Day on Aug. 14, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation has expanded its Native American Scholarship program with Education Forward Arizona for a second time, providing an additional $3 million to create 100 scholarships in honor of the Navajo Code Talkers, with a goal of helping more Navajo students graduate with a higher education credential by 2026.

The scholarship program was expanded to acknowledge and honor the selfless service of 400 Navajo Code Talkers during World War II. The Code Talkers used the Navajo language to create an unbreakable code for radio and telephone communication, which is credited for helping the U.S. win the war.

The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation recently announced the creation of the Navajo Code Talkers Scholarships at the National World War II Museum’s American Spirit Awards Gala in New Orleans, where the remaining living Code Talkers were honored, two of which were in attendance. Only three Code Talkers are still alive today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr., and Thomas H. Begay.

“The Navajo Code Talkers represent an important and proud part of both Navajo and American history – and we are pleased to honor them with this named scholarship program that we hope will enable Navajo students to build a prosperous future for themselves, their families, and their community through education,” said Tracy Bame, Freeport-McMoRan Foundation President. “The Navajo Code Talkers Scholarship program is open to all Navajo students who have a desire to achieve a higher education, serve their community, and inspire others through their own selfless acts to create a better future – as the Navajo Code Talkers did.”

As the scholarship administrator, Education Forward Arizona manages the application process by selecting and awarding the scholarship recipients and distributing the funds to each school. The nonprofit organization recently selected the first cohort of 50 Navajo students as inaugural Navajo Code Talkers Scholars for the 2022-23 school year. Students were chosen based on their impressive applications, accomplishments, future goals, and passion and desire to serve their community. They will receive scholarships of up to $6,000 annually and support services to help them succeed in pursuing and completing a postsecondary certificate, associate or bachelor’s degree. The second cohort of 50 students will be selected in the summer of 2023 for the 2023-24 school year.

In addition to the scholarships, each scholar will receive support services from Education Forward Arizona Success Advisers, which are key to ensuring students can successfully navigate their educational path, persist through higher education, and graduate with a degree or credential. These support services include mentoring sessions, enrollment counseling, academic tracking, financial aid advice, peer networking, professional development, and more.

“There are so many students across our state who are in need of financial assistance to help them to pursue a college degree,” said Education Forward Arizona President and CEO Rich Nickel. “Supporting students is at the heart of our work and we know it’s the best lever for improving students’ lives and the quality of life for all Arizonans. We are very thankful to The Freeport-McMoRan Foundation for its investment in scholarships for Native American students in Arizona.”

About Education Forward Arizona

Education Forward Arizona was created to change the way people think about and support education as the key driver to improving the economy and quality of life in Arizona. The organization’s work includes providing scholarships and innovative programs to students and advocating for policies and funding that move the Achieve60AZ postsecondary attainment goal and other Arizona Education Progress Meter goals forward. Learn more at

About Freeport-McMoRan

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. is a leading international mining company with headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona. The company operates large, long-lived, geographically diverse assets with significant proven and probable reserves of copper, gold, and molybdenum. Freeport-McMoRan is one of the world’s largest publicly traded copper producers. The company’s portfolio of assets includes the Grasberg minerals district in Indonesia, one of the world’s largest copper and gold deposits; and significant mining operations in North America and South America, including the large-scale Morenci minerals district in Arizona and the Cerro Verde operation in Peru. Freeport-McMoRan collaborates with communities, governments, nonprofit organizations, and other stakeholders to maximize the benefits of mining and contribute to community well-being and resilience, including Native American communities near the company’s operations or those with historical cultural affiliation to lands on which the company operates. Learn more: Freeport In My Community–Native American Initiatives or Freeport-McMoRan–Sustainability–Indigenous People #