Meet Jolene, a Second Semester Participant in Up with People from The Navajo Nation!
“We are not just words in a history book, but a thriving culture with beauty.”
What is something special about where you are from?
“I come from the Navajo Nation. It is the biggest reservation in the United States. We take so much pride in who we are as Diné (The People). We love our culture and traditions. Each little thing has a meaning to us and we give thanks everyday to the simplicity of life.”
Is there someplace unique/special you like to take out of town visitors when they visit your hometown?
“I like to take them to a Mesa in my hometown called dzith-na-o-dith-hle. It’s a beautiful place that is surrounded by flat land, so it’s amazing to see the sunrise and sunset.”
What is the most positive thing about your generation? What is your generation doing that makes you proud?
“I think my generation is trying to an impact of change. We all want to make the world a better place. We want to see nature, people, and communities become a better version of themselves.”
Why did you decide to return for a second semester?
“I wanted to be an advocate for my culture. My first semester I was given the opportunity to show my host families, cast, and students that we are not just words in a history book, but a thriving culture with beauty.”
What part of the program surprised you the most?
“The thing that surprised me the most was how close I became with people I only knew for 6 months. All the connection and resources were unexpected.”
What are some of your interests and passions?
“I love my culture. All the dancing and singing and traditional games we play.”
When are you most happy?
“I’m most happy when I’m dancing jingle dress. It makes me happy that I heal other and myself emotionally and mentally.”
“Here beneath the sun
We share a place called home,
And whatever comes
We are sisters and brothers,
Gotta count on one another.”
Sunrise © Up with People