I was born lucky, with a passion for learning and an arrogance that got me through 12 years of public education in one piece. I completed about half my education in the Navajo Nation, the tribe I am born for. Then, at about 12 years old, I moved off the reservation and eventually finished my high school diploma in suburbia.
Right now I am in a Bachelor’s degree program in Anthropology with a minor in Journalism and Multimedia Studies. What I hope to do is create media – primarily videos, that educate people on the many ways of being human. Namely, language and media across time and space.
There is so much more to human nature than what our public education system is willing to teach. The schools I attended on the reservations were not always focused on creating the most well rounded student possible. I understand why, with so many of their students facing issues outside the classroom. Issues that make getting a quality education less important. When I moved to Denver, then Mesa, the education was leagues above what I received on the reservation.
The outlooks on education before and after leaving the reservation were a stark contrast. However, the greatest lesson I learned was that money mattered when it came to getting a well rounded education.
It was difficult understanding how hard my family’s circumstances were growing up but it became clear when I started interacting with my peers in college. Many could afford housing, books, expensive laptops and cars. They had houses to go back to for break with bedrooms that will always be theirs – each of my trips home were laced with uncertainty. Many did not worry about their family while at school. I had thoughts of dropping out so that I could be another leg of support. Nothing was as jolting as realizing how different the lives my peers are living from me.
In such a polarized world, giving people a source for diverse cultures is desperately needed to broaden the social consciousness. It is ridiculous how easy it is to fall into a constant feedback loops of one’s ideas nowadays with algorithms aimed to create echo chambers. There is a need to leave the chamber and take a few steps back. What I am most concerned with is making sure the public is as educated as possible about issues that affect them directly. Education is at war with media when really, the two should work together.
There are already many successful edutainment channels and companies, born online. I would like to add to this reservoir of quality public education. The world needs fierce and passionate educators, willing to go the distance. If there is anything I can do, it is share my love for humans and culture, and maybe inspire others to do the same. Working with the GlobalMindED Community and those at Fort Lewis College as well as my Native networks, I look forward to achieving and exceeding my ambitions.