Community members graduate from ASU at American Indian convocation
May 20, 2016
Gila River Indian News
It was a sea of maroon and gold inside the Arizona State University Gammage Auditorium as Native American students were honored for their academic success on May 11.
Faculty and distinguished guests congratulated the new graduates at the American Indian Convocation that included Community members Teaya Vicente, Marissa Yazzie, Althea Walker, Kiohud Sanderson, Donalda Lyons, Kyrie Dukepoo and Raquel Romero.
Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis presented each of the graduating GRIC students with a special sash worn to commemorate their academic feat.
“It’s such an awesome sight to see them cross the stage tonight representing the Community,” said Gov. Lewis
The GRIC graduates are looking to put their degrees to work.
“I’d like to give back to my Community and use my education to work in the historic preservation field for Gila River,” said Romero.
Romero wants to use her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Anthropology to connect with the Community, because it is such an important part of her heritage.
“It is great they want to bring back what they have learned to share with the Community,” said Gov. Lewis.
Graduate Althea Walker is currently working for the Community with the Department of Environmental Quality as an Environmental Education & Outreach Specialist.
Walker, who recently earned her Masters Degree in Environmental Resource Management, said, “I really owe a lot to my family. My mother Elizabeth Bonnie has obtained her masters degree and my grandfather Harland Bonnie…he’s a hard working individual.”
Her message to Community members wanting to go to college is to look into the tribal scholarship program offered by Student Services and to even consider working towards an advanced degree.
“It’s been a long, but fun journey. None of this would be possible without the support of the Community, the department I work for and my family.”
After the convocation ceremony was over, family members greeted their new graduates outside of the auditorium to share a moment of happiness.