Silvas becomes first Pascua Yaqui college signee - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Silvas becomes first Pascua Yaqui college signee

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A student scores a big win for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe as he becomes the first member in the tribe's history to be recruited to play collegiate sports. Ruben Silvas, 20, will sign a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Silvas is a 6-foot-3-inch shooting guard who has played basketball since the second grade. He saw that the university was holding open tryouts for its basketball team at Tohono O'odham Community College, and decided to give it his best shot. Silvas ultimately earned a spot on the roster and a full-ride scholarship to the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

While at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Silvas will pursue his academic dream of becoming a school guidance counselor. He plans to study psychology and follow in the footsteps of the two high school counselors who supported him throughout high school. One day, he hopes to help other kids with their college aspirations.

"Without this scholarship, this would not have been possible for me and my family," said Silvas who is the oldest of 11 children and the first in his family to go to a four-year university. "This is important to me because I want to be an example to my siblings and other Pascua Yaqui kids."

Pascua Yaqui Tribal Enterprises are the largest contributors to the community's education system and recreational programs. Revenue from each enterprise contributes to schools, and students gain valuable experience through the tribe's work-study programs to teach them essential skills to succeed in careers.

"Preparing our students with the abilities and education they need to have successful and independent lives is essential to the social and economic well being of our tribe," said Tribal Council Chairman Peter Yucupicio. "We are dedicated to investing in our youth through educational programs and services that further our community for future generations."

Copyright 2014 The Pascua Yaqui Tribe. All rights reserved.

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