JA-REY photoshops

I was able to work with adobe and create a photo that represents the connection of indigenous people of the Americas continents and those from Africa. no matter where you are in the world you are on indigenous land and its important to recognize them. its also important to come together because we all face the same oppressive forces. I wanted to show with my photo that their are people who are mixed with indigenous heritage from all over the world. Being an Afro-Mexica I wanted to help bridge that gap. so i put myself sharing a fire with a women of an African tribe called Himba. I wanna thank Gina for the opportunity to do this and that she worked her magic on my photo. i defiantly want to get better at Photoshop and hopefully get to work for in the future

17_JaRey w himba-woman



I want to thank every mentor that was apart of native youth to college. I learned so much from ya’ll as individuals and the way you all work together. I admire the way they were patient with us and they made sure we were well and cared for. I think the connection that was developed by the students wouldn’t have been possible if the mentors that were with us most of the time weren’t so nice and gentle. I appreciate the moments i shared with all of them. From singing at wishtoyo till the sun set or just sitting in the classroom learning the same thing. i really felt like their equal not some little kid. I wanna thank Violet for the positive energy she always seem to have also for offering herself as a resources so that I could have another opportunity to sweat since the last time so conflicts arised. Aolani  thank you so much for being funny as heck. Your the women I saw give birth to a basketball. lol you recognized us as young adults and I thank you for that cause i hate being patronized. i thank every mentor those who asked if i was okay. my own mentor weliyah so keeping us updated and making sure we were up in the mornings. i’m very grateful to have been given this opportunity it was my first and unfortunately my last year but i believe that it was meant to happen this way.

Ja-Rey’s trip is coming to an end.

soooooo thinking about going home pains me but i’m glad to get away from all these chilren….. just kidding. I met so many positive people and i’ve seen my peers open up to one another and that brings joy to me. just thinking about how two weeks ago we had no idea who each other was and now we are all joking together and feel comfortable to express themselves. This program gave us the opportunity to learn how to live our life with passion and how to navigate college as an indigenous student. I also learned things about my self here and i believe that i’m leaving her with a better understanding of my path and how i want to walk down that road. I was grateful to have been able to get in touch with my musical side which I think has been oppressed for a while now. Meeting people who bring out the things you truly want to do is what i found in those i met. when we visited the chumash village the most beautiful moments was sitting the siliq for until the sun went down singing song and feeling the energy of the fire with people I had such a good time with. this program has been a very deep experience for me and i’m glad my last summer in high school was so fun

Ja-REYREY goes through another day

First, I wanna say happy birthday to Julia

i’m grateful to be in the presence of someone who has done so much work in their community. She is an amazing leader and adviser and I will pass all that I’ve learned from her to those I can. Today was very fun but it was hot. We took a tour of Pitzer college and got to ask questions that we really wanted to know like financial aid for Pitzer  and different academic opportunities that are unique to this college among other things. I didn’t like walking around in the heat but i’m glad I got that opportunity.  before the tour we had Mayan math which I always enjoy. Santos is such a fresh breath of air, he is so knowledgeable about his culture and he is also a strong presences within his community. He is definitely a role model of mine. We watched a video of a fire ceremony that people in his community shared online. When we were watching the ceremony I remembered the fire ceremonies I participated in with my community. I thought of the pride I felt in those moment during the fire ceremony and I knew those who were in the video were feeling the same sense of pride. They felt no fear in expressing themselves through their roles in the ceremony and I admire that.  I began wishing that I would be able to embodied the same courage but taking larger responsibilities in my school community and pouring my energy into it with no restraints. Today was very chill and i’m sad NY2C is coming to an end.

Ja-Rey in her element


My best friend was shipped in last night to start the NY2C program a whole week late. Yeah a whoooole long week but she was at another summer camp so ya know it was all good. This passed week we had been disconnected from the world obsessed with speed and slowed down a bit to ground ourselves with the love of culture. We were invited to Wishtoyo and got to stay 4 great days on the restored village site of the Chumash people. I cant even begin to explain the amount of love I felt leaving those lands on our final day.  Those who have dedicated their lives to the culture and who took time to greet and care for us those 4 days are the most amazing people I have every meet. We did so many activities, like kayaking and snorkeling on Limuw island which is the origin place of the Chumash people. through all of that my most beautiful memory d at Wishtoyo is spending many hours of the day learning Chumash native songs and stories. sitting in front of the fire offering prays  was the best night. It reminded me of the pwoer within our culture and ourselves. It was an amazing experience and ooooh i slept outside every night too. (fun fact: you cant see the moon because of light pollution from the city)

Ja-Rey views the spirit game

okay what up, 

I’m here to tell ya’ll about my 4th day at NY2C. Today out of all the amazing activities we participated in the program gave us the chance to watch Spirit game: Pride of the Nation. This documentary told the story of the Iroquois confederacy’s fight to reclaim  lacrosse their traditional sport. I’m not the veeery best at explanations but the trailer is linked to the post… so MOMMA if you reading this you should watch it cause its pretty good. The energy communicated through the film created a lasting impression 




Ja-Rey sweats and protects

so honeyyyy, 

Today we were giving the opportunity to play an indigenous game called Mexica flower wars. The objective of the game was to capture the warriors who were carrying sacred staffs by touching the tops of their opponents heads. It really wasn’t as easy as it sounds. The day before we learned how to protect over self using indigenous martial arts.  we learn to block our heads and our stomachs but also learned how to move energy. Our instructor, Hector Pacheco reminded us how disciplined our ancestors were by cultivating a focus atmosphere within the students. He taught us the knowledge behind the game and how those with the sacred staffs represent future generations. The goal for the team was to protect the new generation and to listen to those of the future. Participating in Mexica flower wars built a stronger sense of community at the NY2C program between the students. We were able to communicate with each other and focus our energy on one purpose. From this we would be able to apply the same skills we learn during the game to help enrich our communities. Being able to organize and communicate with people in our community allows use to cultivate the energy and discipline we need to create a more inclusive future for indigenous people all over the world. I had a good time though it was so hoooot up in there. it was funny also, I can’t wait to learn a lot more about…. everything. 

Ja-Rey in the NY2C house

My name is Ja-Rey and this is bits of the story of my first day at pitzer’s Native Youth To College Program. 

After my arrival to the parking lot of Pitzer,  I stepped out of the car to be greeted with this very gross feeling of hot air. It was motionless and dry but it didn’t dampen my anticipation for the program. At the check in table I was about to scope out some of the students I would be spending the next 14 days with. My momma was about to walk me to the dorm I was assigned and help me get situated.  It was air conditioned so you know we were thankful,  we had carried my luggage up four flights of stairs in double digit weather. This was my highlight of today cause it was kind of like a flash to the future. We talked about how similar the moment I leave to college would be to this one. I was glad my mother was there for support.  Its only been a day and i’m very thankful for the opportunities I will find here at NY2C.