Monty Begay, whose family “nagged” him to study when he was younger, is Northern Arizona University’s first recipient of the Goodluck Outstanding Native American Social Work Student Award.

Begay’s family traveled to Flagstaff to watch him receive the award on March 12. He thanked his parents for helping him develop a positive attitude and for pushing him to study when he was younger. “It has been a challenging four years but this award shows that hard work pays off,” Begay said.

During March, observed as National Social Work Month, sociology and social work faculty chose Begay to win the award, named after faculty member Charlotte Goodluck who died in December. The award represents leadership qualities at the core of NAU’s sociology and social work mission.