Seizing the Opportunity, Thank You TCJ
When I arrived at the Tribal College Journal office to start my first day, I was greeted by Rachael, TCJ’s publisher. A wholesome individual who became a dear friend, she showed me the office, the town of Mancos, and where I was to work/stay during my eight-week internship. I was beyond excited to start mainly because I would be a part of a Native American higher education publication.
The first week I met the staff and participated in weekly meetings to get a feel of how the publication operates. I was stunned to begin this blog Red Storyteller during my internship and wondered how I would begin to select topics that would engage and unify tribal college students, staff, and faculty. Fortunately, I had huge support from the TCJ staff and Rachael who I confided in with my drafts, such as the “Naked Indian & Stereotypes” piece. She was very emotional when she finished reading it and told me that she was proud I was able to reflect my childhood in print. That made me want to write a lot more on difficult topics with which Native students could relate or find enlightening.
This being my last blog post with Tribal College Journal, I encourage you tribal students to apply for the TCJ Student blogger position with this pristine magazine. We want to hear your stories and any concerns you have with tribal colleges around this country. Your voice and your writings will help build this magazine and website and increase its standing within the TCU community. I can’t wait to see who will continue to write and share their knowledge, wisdom, and endeavors.
Working with the Tribal College Journal has been the ultimate dream for me. Not enough words can explain my passion for writing and becoming a part of a team that stands for higher education. Seizing this opportunity has led me to continue my passion and to set more goals with confidence. When I started the internship, I wasn’t as confident in my writing and kept questioning whether I was good enough to start a blog. Without the support I received from the staff, their boost of inspiration, and their efforts to keep a college publication strong with its subscribers, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now.
When I applied to TCJ, I was unemployed and writing on my spare time. I returned back to my homeland in Lukachukai, Arizona, and wasn’t too pleased with where I wanted to journey to next—school or jobwise. I had old copies of TCJ and would read the student writing sections for inspiration, not knowing that I would work for them a month later. I e-mailed their office, looking for an opportunity, and was very fortunate to be interviewed and considered as an intern. I finished the internship and was granted an extension to my blog. After composing 12 posts, it still feels like a dream to see my audience growing especially if one wants to pursue a career in writing.
With the New Year, I wish the best to the TCJ staff and all tribal college students who will begin a new semester. I hope the blog posts I’ve composed in the past were insightful and informative, and I’m happy to pass this torch to another individual who may write more astonishing stories from their tribal college and homeland. Thank you!
Shaina Nez (Diné) is a graduate of Diné College and author of the TCJ Student blog, Red Storyteller.