Today was really great! I felt a very positive energy this morning when everyone started arriving and I was so stoked to meet everyone at orientation. Theatre class was a great way to start the program because it brought us all together as a group and allowed us to break out of our shells. Although the heat was draining for all of us, I believe that we handled the rest of the day nicely. It was laid back, in a sense, but it was also an opportunity to get to know each other and socialize. Good night, and get ready for this week!
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!!
What a wonderful day and a half we had at Wishtoyo! I am definitely thankful to have gone back once again because the last time I went was one of the BEST experiences of my life. Learning about the Chumash culture and living in the village for as long as we did was a true blessing. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to return to this program as a mentor for not only my benefit but for the benefit of the students who I have been lucky enough to build a relationship with.
While at Wistoyo, I made an abalone necklace which is very sacred to the Chumash people. The last time I came, I made an abalone shell basket and this time I got to carve a necklace design which was super awesome and enlightening. I also got to make a clapper stick out of an elderberry branch from scratch which was an entirely new experience for me. I have made two clapper sticks in the past but they were already cut out for me (all I did was design it) but this time, I got to carve it out myself in addition to designing it.
One lesson that I will take away with me and share with others is the idea of saying out loud what I am thankful for and what I am looking forward to in the future. It’s not often that I get to do that, which might be one of the reasons I get down on myself sometimes. Even though I occasionally pray to my creator, I do not get to talk to myself about what I am thankful for. So I think it is really important for everyone to remind themselves what blessings they have received in their lives in order to make them hope for greater things in the future.
My favorite cultural experience was morning ceremony. It was the most awake I have felt my entire time at the program and I felt nothing but exciting energy. I came out before 7 AM with my clapper stick and my love…which made my happy to be awake and sharing my happiness with others. As soon as we all stood in a circle, I felt nothing but beautiful blessing and I could not have asked for a better morning (plus the weather was SO BEAUTIFUL and PERFECT that I did not want to leave ever again!!)
Reflect on your entire experience at the Wishtoyo Village.
- Did you make any of the crafts? Which ones and how was that experience?
- What teachings resonated with you during your stay (what teachings/lessons did you relate to the most)?
- What was your favorite cultural experience of the entire trip?
- Post a picture of your visit.
200 words minimum
At the University of Arizona, there are lots of ways to relax. We have a huge recreational center in the middle of our campus that if you’re a student, you get unlimited access to all the courts, weight rooms, and tracks. Football season is during the fall, so you can get discounts on the games OR you can buy the ZonaZoo pass for $250 which gives you admission to all the home games for ANY sport ALL year!
We also have malls nearby and movie theaters that I tend to go to all the time… Plus, I tend to go to Mount Lemon or “A” Mountain to enjoy the view of the city.
There comes a time in college when you just need to take a break and relax. Some ways that college students take time for themselves is by going to the gym, shopping, or enjoying a movie.
Look up a college of your choice and describe what recreational activities they offer to students.
Come up with your own ideas of how to relax after a long week of studying.