students pledge to protect their
During the afternoon, four Navajo Prep seniors -- Jasmine Jishie, Jefferson Joe Jr., Shane Benally and Delta Higdon -- discussed how culture has influenced their lives.
Moderator Elaine Benally introduced the students and stressed the importance of listening to the wisdom young people have to offer. She explained that Navajo Prep graduates attend colleges across the nation and are succeeding both on and off the Reservation.
"Native American people are now in fear of losing their language, cultural traditions and their youth," Benally said. "These young people are here to reassure us that this won't happen."
The students discussed their plans to attend college and earn degrees in areas such as law, education, business and psychology. Afterwards, they intend to return to the Reservation to serve their people and help future generations.
When asked what advice they would give for leaders, both on and off the Reservation:
Students talked about the importance of preserving Navajo culture. They praised Navajo Prep for integrating Navajo culture and traditions in the curriculum.
Joe said that preserving Navajo culture will fall largely on the backs of his generation and generations to come.
The Leadership students will attend three more day-long sessions and complete three community-improvement projects before graduating from the program in May.
The Leadership San Juan program is geared toward educating current and future community leaders about pertinent issues and systems within the county.
Applications for next year's
Leadership San Juan class are
Village © Gina Boltz
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