Maya Wishtoyo!!!

When your girl is getting a lil too close
The only actuallly good photo of me #thanksmitch #ilookdumbaf
focused in class
Belly feeding Ta’kaiya with his freakishly long neck
Hittin Mitch with dat wink 😉
My beautiful mentor
When I was shucking abalone and felt like a cold-blooded killer #still ate it tho

Theatre Prompts

  1. An object I would like to place on our altar is a nice rock. My mother believes that all rocks hold strong veneerer that has the potential to heal. My mom is one of the most important people in my life,and she gives me every ounce of her love. When I don’t feel well, my mom likes to sit with me and meditate with rocks that come for the earth that loves us so much. 
  2. Two traditions that have meaning for me are Chanukah and Passover. One of my favorite traditions is searching for the Afikomen and winning a prize. I also love my family’s traditional Chanukah celebration in which we play dreidel for a prize of chocolate coins. 

Maya’s Fifth Day

I’ve been feeling pretty cruddy the last two or three days, so this morning I sat out of martial arts. I was a bit disappointed but the rest of the day made up for it. I napped through morning classes and when i woke up I didn’t feel as sick and my body was most definitely more rested. Then we went to Western U after lunch and get this- I held a freshly harvested human heart! I did throw up in my mouth a little, but for sure an interesting experience. Then came the virtual reality lab! The technology was incredible. Falling down the trachea almost felt real. Afterwards came dinner. Then today in theatre we talked about traditions. 


Catch these photos.

claapper sticks
Fun with clapper sticks!
dancing with sadie
Dancing with Sadie
Hammin it up
making the altar
Making the altar
mesquite pancakes
Mesquite pancakes!
my rock
Placing on the altar
pool day
Pool day

Maya’s Third Day

             Today I was very sleepy, but martial arts with Hector quickly woke me up! I had so much fun playing tribal games, and my team won both times! But i would have had just as much fun if we lost- the enjoyment was really in the teamwork of my group. I just wish it didn’t start at 6:45 am. Then after breakfast, we went to academic writing with Shelva . Today for Common Apps, we found five facts each about five colleges. This was particularly easy for me because that’s what I do in my free time, often while crying. (I did not cry this time). Then I went to lunch, and afterwards we had a class with Joe Parker.We spoke about Idle No More, and how it is important to request change when we believe change is necessary.  I would have then liked to take a nap, but that very moment we traveled to Scott’s house to go swimming. Then it was time to meet Saginaw Grant, a famous Native American actor. Saginaw spoke to us about the importance of culture and education. He also told us a legend that taught the moral of not rushing through your journey, so you may enjoy all of the experiences and details. I loved hearing him speak- I wish my face could’ve shown it! I was practically falling asleep though. I guess I’m just not used to waking up that early. Then we had dinner, theatre, and now blogging! I hope I’m not so tired tomorrow.

Maya’s Second Day

           Today was a busy day, and a little rough for me because I can never sleep well the first night at camp. I was really sleepy this morning, but martial arts with Hector was a lot of fun. Even though it was 6 a.m. it was incredibly hot- I’ll remember to bring water next time. I can’t wait for our progression with fighting over the next week. Then we had breakfast, and after we headed for academic writing with Shelva Hurley. This is not my favorite class because I do academic writing in my sleep. When we finished, we went to Pomona college for a worm lab with worms called C. elegans. C. elegans is used to study the human brain. This is because they have a similar central nervous system, yet much simpler. C. elegans has 302 neurons in its brain…compared to our 85 billion. We also got to see the muscles of the worms glow, which was super cool. When we were finished we talked about the subject “Who goes to college”.  Then we headed to lunch. Afterwards, we saw the Pomona museum and we had a talk regarding immediate word association between “museum” and “native artifacts”. Then came what was the most definite highlight of my day: basketmaking! I’m absolutely in love with how mine turned out. We’re supposed to give our first of a craft away; first beadwork, sometimes first medicine bag, and first basket. But I just don’t think I can part with mine! We also used paint that we mixed by using pigments, water, and salt. We then painted on small pieces of canvas. I did outer space.Then dinner, and then theatre with Rose Portillo. Today was super tiring but enjoyable all the same. 

Maya’s First Day

Today after orientation, we had a tasty lunch in the dining hall. Then we had theatre with Rose Portillo! Theatre is always one of my favorite parts of the day because it’s a time for everyone to just let loose. I can stretch out my body, and I have a chance to shout as loud as I want- not to mention i love playing games. When we finished with theatre we met with our mentor teams to lay down some ground rules, and I’m so, so pleased with my group. My roommate for my dorm hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m excited to meet her! We finished early and went for a swim in the pool. My bad ankle still makes it difficult to participate in specific activities, but healing is a process and it’s going well. Afterwards, we made clapper sticks with Julia Bogany! I loved decorating mine and can’t wait to use it during song later.


Hey! I’m Maya. I’m of Taíno and mixed European descent, and have lived in Claremont all my life. I am an upcoming junior at Claremont High School, and I enjoy spending my time drumming, rock climbing, and teaching. I teach art with a volunteer program called artSTart to elementary age children. This program has led me to do things that I wasn’t even aware i was capable of (Such as speaking in front of the mayor, councilmen, AND  60 people) and I am so grateful for it. I’m not yet sure if I’d like to do art therapy or elementary school education, and am considering a double major in sociology and psychology. I am ecstatic to be back at Native Youth to College for the second time. Going to college is incredibly important to me, and being that Pitzer is my top choice, I couldn’t be happier to be here. I am so enthusiastic to be at a program that ties together native culture with my passion for education. 

Maya’s 14th (and last ): Day

I had a fun time at Chaffey Community Garden today! For the first time in pipeline, I actually completed a craft from beginning to end. In fact, I finished before everyone else. What’s the craft I was able to finish so quickly and well? Making rabbit fur ropes. I’m a vegetarian and the only thing I’m good at is cutting rabbit skins.



Also, I ate these grapes and my lips went numb. More numb than when I usually eat grapes.


I’m going to distribute Native Youth Survival Guide to Preparing for College to some of my friends. I don’t have any native friends or family members, but the information given in our blogs is helpful to all youth. I think there’s a lot of critical information that we’ve learned in our Common Application and writing classes that can be used to help apply to college. I can send my friends the link so it’s easily accessible to them.

Maya’s 13th Day

The common application is the application process used by the majority of top colleges and universities to get into an undergraduate program, and is the most helpful thing I’ve used to find and compare colleges. When I use the Common Application, I legitimately feel like I’m actually making progress towards my educational goals. You can see location, offered majors, tuition, and much more. If you enter information about the major you’re looking into, the area code you want to be near, and the parts of college that are most important to you, the Common Application will even show you colleges and the percentage you match up with them. To prepare to fill out the common app you must first make an account. It’s also helpful to have a major in mind, and to know what kind of school you’d like to attend. I’d personally want to major in art with a possible double major in psychology, and attend a small liberal arts school. It’s incredibly important to research colleges before you apply. If you don’t know the kind of college or what it offers, it’s  a waste of your money and application time if you end up realizing it’s not what you had in mind. For instance, I probably wouldn’t want to attend Cornell University because I feel more comfortable in small, intimate teaching settings, and would like to be closer to home. One of the most essential things in applying to colleges is submitting a strong college essay.  The top two factors colleges take into account are high school GPA and your admission essay. In many colleges, admission essays are held more important than SAT scores. So if you aren’t a strong test taker, you can still help your chances of getting into a college by writing a solid essay. I’ve realized that I write the strongest essays when I’m writing something I’m passionate about, or something that is deeply personal. Luckily, unlike many high school essays, the Common Application asks for just that. They want to know about you, and what you are going to bring to their campus. This is your chance to not only flaunt yourself (for the best possible reason), but also to really speak about what is close to your heart. So write about something you would fight for. Write about something that people need to know. Write about something that is important- to you. And write about it with the same passion that you have in yourself.

Idle No More rally today!!!


When you team up with the protestors against war!


When you look like a dork real good


Indigenous rights are human rights. We’re not invisible. If we don’t say it, it won’t be said.