Frances Reiter Is Chosen CMN's 'Student of the Year'
Frances "Franny" Reiter of Keshena has been named the American Indian College Fund's "Student of the Year." The award annually recognizes a College of Menominee Nation student for high academic achievement and a strong record of community involvement and service.
This year's recipient is an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe and is the daughter of Daryl and Burnell Reiter. She plans to graduate in May with CMN's two-year Associate Degree in Business Administration and continue studies at the Keshena campus for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education.
A full time student and parent of a preschooler, she has maintained all A and B grades at CMN while working part-time at the Oneida Casino. Reiter's service work includes having interned with the College's YMCA After-School Program. Her community service has included volunteer roles with Habitat for Humanity, youth baseball concessions, and the Rezzurect Ridez Club, and participation in Regalia Circle activities.
Reiter is approaching her academic studies at CMN as preparation for an entrepreneurial career on the Menominee Reservation: "My plan is to create my own daycare business with a focus on our culture and arts, helping our Nation's children become lifelong learners, and giving local families who want to work another childcare option."
She says her daughter is the major influence in her life: "I want to be a good role model for her. By attending College, I know I'm providing hope for a better future for us."
Reiter also sees her experience as a returning adult student as an example for others: "I first attended university right after high school, but being young and naive my priorities shifted and eventually I just stopped going. In the following six years I worked, married, became a mother and then became a single parent without many resources. Now I'm back in school and have a plan.
"Life puts up barrier after barrier, but we cannot let that stop us. I want to inspire other single parents, families and the community by demonstrating that anything is possible once you put your mind to it."
A former classmate who nominated Reiter for the award noted the "positive attitude and big smile" that she brought to school every day despite many challenges. She calls Reiter "a good role model not only for me, but for all single parents out there who feel they can't handle going back to college, raising their children, plus working and commuting." She adds that Reiter, "truly is an inspiration."