My name is Alysha White and I will be one of your mentors this year! I am from the Diné Nation of St. Michael’s/Ganado, Arizona, but grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Growing up in the Land of Enchantment, not only did I grow up engaging in my Native culture, but I was also deeply engaged in my New Mexican culture. For instance, I would attend Mariachi performances at the theatre, eat New Mexican style foods (HOT CHILI!!!), and listen to Hispanic music while enjoying dinner at Sadie’s (a popular, authentic New Mexican restaurant). I love the fact that I grew up in New Mexico because there is such a rich culture there that I identify with easily but I also love my Native culture. I enjoy participating in traditional ceremonies such as Peyote Meetings and coming of age ceremonies as well as learning the Navajo language. To me, it is important that I keep learning more about my ancestors and traditions so I can pass them down to my children. I am currently in the Interdisciplinary Film and Digital Media Program (IFDM) at the University of New Mexico, which integrates Film Production and Business Marketing.
This will be my 4th time at the Native Youth to College Program, my 2nd as a mentor. I thoroughly enjoy coming back to Pitzer every year because this program allows me to engage in cultural traditions that I would not have known about if I had not attended this program. You all are going to have so much fun at this program, whether it is your 1st year or your 3rd year and I cannot wait to see everyone!!