Ride of her life

Name: Alexandera Houchin

Educational path: Transferred to the University of Minnesota Duluth from the University of Arizona; majoring in American Indian studies and chemistry; will graduate in 2020. Houchin also has degrees in welding and tool and die making.

Outside of school: Houchin was the first woman to cross the finish line in both the 2018 and 2019 Tour Divide, a 2,745-mile mountain bike race that traverses the length of the Rocky Mountains from Canada to the Mexican border. In 2019, she finished in a record-setting 18 days, 20 hours, and 26 minutes.

What's next: A member of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and a recipient of the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Scholarship, Houchin plans to go to dental school and eventually serve her Ojibwe community as a dentist.

Why scholarship gifts matter: "I would never have been able to go to college without support from the tribes here in Minnesota. For that, I feel like I owe something back. That's what communities do. It's the circle of giving and receiving."