By Alan Sorensen
Stone Child College graduate Beau Mitchell flew to Washington, D.C. last Wednesday evening to dine with President Bill Clinton at the White House.
Mitchell, poster student for the 1999 American Indian College Fund ad campaign, attended the dinner to honor Solomon Trujillo, president and CEO of US West. Trujillo was awarded the Ronald H. Brown Foundation 1999 Corporate Bridge Builder award for heading the first corporation to support the American Indian College Fund.
"I gave a speech about how Native Americans are on the back burner for health care, education, ... and about how Solomon Trujillo is taking us off the back burner," Mitchell said. "How he's making sure we're getting off the back burner, helping us out any way he can.
"He gave $2 million to the American Indian College Fund and paid for the public awareness campaign."
In that campaign, Mitchell appears in both print and television spots with a horse and water. Mitchell said in an earlier Daily News story that he was selected for the campaign after being select as an outstanding tribal college science student at the 1998 American Indian Higher Education Consortium conference. He chose to speak out on behalf of water resources because he is planning a career in environmental sciences.
Mitchell is following in his mother's foot steps. Joan Mitchell, now of Havre, earned her master's degree in environmental sciences at Tufts University in Medford, Mass.
Mitchell subsequently graduated from Stone Child College at Rocky Boy and is now majoring in soils and water science with a minor in water resources at MSU-Bozeman.
"I'll probably be graduating in 2001; I'm in no big hurry," Mitchell said. "I'm here to learn, get the most out of it as I can."
Mitchell missed a couple of classes last Wednesday to catch his flight. He arrived in Washington at about 6 p.m. and just had time to shower do a short TV interview before heading to dinner. He arrived in time for the cocktail party at 6:30, ate dinner, and met President Clinton.
After his speech, Mitchell had a conversation with Clinton about school and other things.
"I asked the president if he'd sign a tardy slip and he just laughed."