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Humans of the U: Alyssa Pretty On Top

“I grew up on the Flathead Indian Reservation, so coming to the U was a big decision for me. I knew I wanted the life experience of going to college out of state because I plan to return to my hometown and work for my tribe. My dad earned his master’s in social work from the University of Utah. His example has inspired me to get a really good education and have big goals for myself.

I am a first-year student studying social work. Long term, I want to get my master’s in social work. There are many things that drew me to this field. Growing up on a reservation, I saw the way poverty can impact a community. I would like to work in foster care or another position that would allow me to provide resources to families to help them succeed. I also want to help students continue their education after high school.

Coming to college is better than I could have imagined with all the resources I have access to. I’m still looking through the U’s website and finding new resources I didn’t even know about. I have a work-study job at the American Indian Resource Center, and they do a lot of outreach. The center has given me a home away from home. I love being involved with the groups and programs the center provides for Native American students.

I wasn’t really outgoing in high school. But coming to the U, everyone is so friendly that I am a lot more open to talking to new people and experiencing new things.”

— Alyssa Pretty On Top, a first-year social work student from Ronan, Montana