MHA Nation Tribal Member Selected for Ambassadorship

AISES Ambassador Isabella Kitzberger a “Go-Getter” and World Traveler Ready to Give Back to MHA 

By Logan J. Davis

Isabella Kitzberger has recently been selected to be an American Indian Science and Engineering Society Native Financial Cents Ambassador. Isabella is a member of the MHA Nation with family roots in the Twin Buttes area and is excited to begin her duties. 

As an AISES Ambassador, Isabella will be working with MHA Nation students as well as students from other native reservations educating young people in financial literacy and future goals.  Isabella’s mother is Carrie Kitzberger of Albertsville, Minnesota and she is extremely proud of her daughter’s amazing accomplishments that includes maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout her college career. 

Isabella is currently a junior at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She continues her major in Supply Chain and Operations with a minor in Management Information Systems. The ambassadorship was highly-competitive with many of the country’s elite and talented native college students all vying for the honor. 

According to the AISES website, the Native Financial Cents: Supporting Financial Capability for Native Americans Curriculum and Ambassador Program debuted in January 2020 and was created with funding from the Wells Fargo Foundation. The program is designed to engage Native community educators in supporting financial education for youth and young adults.

“My goal is to get (financial literacy) trainings set up for the spring at MHA Nation,” stated Kitzberger. “I’m still working out the details because of COVID-19. I have an interest in working someday in tribal administration someday and when I do start my trainings there I don’t want to waste any time. Hopefully, I can get involved with local programs, perhaps working with the elders on a volunteer basis. I want to give back as much as I can to MHA Nation because the tribal leaders have helped me out all through my college years with financial assistance through tribal scholarships. I could never have succeeded without their help.” 

Chairman Mark Fox encourages students both on and off the Fort Berthold Reservation to pursue higher education. Chairman Fox continues to support programs that provide educational opportunities for advancement to MHA Nation students. 

“I’m very pleased to see any of our MHA students excel in all levels of education and that is what Isabella is doing. The MHA Nation is proud of her and I look forward to seeing her bring this important program to MHA where she can work with young native students in a positive way,” stated Chairman Fox. 

Isabella previously studied abroad in another program that brought her many international experiences traveling to Mexico, Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Africa on a cruise ship with 600 students and college faculty and their families. Isabella was a student at Coastal Carolina in South Carolina where she attended college for her first two years before transferring to the University of Minnesota. Coastal Carolina funded her three-month journey by sea. Colorado chartered the cruise ship and during her memorable trip, Isabella learned a lot about each of those countries cultures and history. 

“It was a once in a lifetime experience sailing across the ocean while taking college courses,” said the 20-year-old Isabella. “I had a goal of reaching all seven continents by the time I was 18 and now the only one left is Antarctica.  I have always had a passion for business and I also had an internship through JP Morgan Chase through their diversity department and I actually convinced them in setting up another program in Fargo. I explained to them that they need to recruit high school students who are Native American and not just the college level.”

The curriculum that Isabella will bring to MHA Nation and other reservations is called “Hands on Banking”. The curriculum consists of six various sections and they are as follows: 

1) All About the Money 

2) Weighing In: Wants and Needs

3) Growing Savings

4) Your Future, Your Choice

5) Investing in the Future

6) True Wealth 

Carrie Kitzberger said that her daughter Isabella is highly motivated and knows what she wants in life and does not hesitate on going after her goals on a daily basis. 

“We have an amazing daughter who is definitely the go-getter type. She finds amazing opportunities and she is so appreciative of the MHA Nation and the wonderful leadership they have there who have helped support her education. Who knows?  One day she may end up working there and make it her home,” stated Carrie Kitzberger.