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Navajo Nation Scholarship Provides a Way to Give Back to Many

While attending college in Arizona, my roommate was this incredibly intelligent young woman who also happened to be a Navajo native American. She was attending school thanks to a navajo nation scholarship and in return, she had pledged that she would return to her native Navajo land and pass on the education, skills and abilities she had learned while at the university.

While most I knew in college had big dreams of moving away from their hometowns and living on their own, my roommate told me it was an honor and an easy choice to make the commitment required for the scholarship, as not only was her college education paid for, but she had a strong desire to return to her home and help improve life for her large family.

I did not understand just how abundant that family was until she took me home for a weekend and I got to experience the Navajo Nation community she had grown up in firsthand. Family, to my roommate, extended well beyond her own mother, father and siblings, but went well into the entire community. I don’t think we passed a single person who did not greet my roommate by name and with a hug and were so very welcoming of me into their community as well.

I enjoyed a wonderful weekend, was more than well-fed, learned about many of the traditions and beliefs of the Navajo people and felt truly cared for by my roommate’s family and friends. It truly felt like home to me and it gave me much more understanding as to why my roommate wanted to return after graduation as well. My roommate wanted to do well in school not only to make her family and community proud, but to bring back something of value to her community to help it grow and thrive as well.

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