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The Outstanding Scholar Award is given to applicants who we feel are utilizing their studies in promising ways, and show innovative and creative ideas for how they plan to build on their studies to bring healing and safety to our communities. 




Sara Twiss is a member of the Walker River Paiute Tribe, and part Pueblo of Laguna, Chicana, and Chinese ancestry. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Humanities from Sierra Nevada College, and recently graduated with a M.A. in Community and Regional Planning with a focus on Indigenous Planning at the University of New Mexico

Sara has experience working with tribal communities on capacity building projects including youth leadership development, community prevention practices, and traditional language revitalization.


Sara is represented as the Director of Community Planning for Tribal Entities Connect, as she focuses on community outreach by being a liaison with current and future partners. She assists with designing projects that address self-determined needs and priorities of Indigenous groups to strengthen their connections. She also assists with developing and implementing events, and fundraising strategies for the organization.


Sara has research interests in Indigenous feminist planning in connection to understanding the terrain of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls as they relate to cities and communities. She is creating a four-day workshop series entitled Indigenous Womxn Rize, through community-based planning actions and practices that will empower women to protect themselves and their Indigenous sisters through learning the importance of their lives. 

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