The Native Center is like my home, and the students and staff are like my family.
Senior – Art Practice and Indigenous Nation Studies
What is your story?
My dad, a native, moved here from Oklahoma in the ‘50s, and I grew up in St. Helens. I flunked out my freshman year of college, and started working full-time in the social services, in group homes and with the disabled. Eventually I came here to PSU to receive an arts education.
What drew you to PSU?
Social justice is important to me, and it’s important to PSU. I want to help continue that tradition.
What were your educational barriers?
I’ve always struggled. I have a different learning style, and for most of my life I thought I wasn’t intelligent. I don’t think I had the right kind of support.
How has the NASCC helped you?
When I came here I didn’t know a lot about who I was, but Professor Cornell immediately hooked me up with the Center. It’s aesthetically beautiful, and I feel like I can ask for anything and it’s taken care of.
How are you paying for school?
I’m a Diversity Scholar, and I’m applying for the McNair Scholars Program for the summer.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m looking to get my Masters Degree in Education. I want to bring a native perspective and sustainability ideas into education. I think we need to look at students’ needs, their strengths, and provide them a more holistic, interdisciplinary type of learning.
What would you say to people who are thinking of donating?
Native students are working really, really hard. A lot of us are working from deficits, and we have serious obstacles to overcome, emotionally, financially, and physically. We’re ignored everywhere else, so it’s important to have a home on campus where we feel safe and get the strength we need to overcome those obstacles.