Shideezhí means “my younger sister” in the Navajo language. NAWMBA has chosen to help Navajo girls who are at risk. Many Navajo girls don’t graduate high school, let alone make it to college to further their education. It is the goal of the Shideezhi Project to inspire and motivate these individuals to pursue higher education and ultimately a better way of supporting themselves and their families. The three focus areas will be to (1) Graduate high school, (2) Go to college, and (3) Enter the workforce as a productive member of society and the tribe.
In this inaugural initiative, NAWMBA members will travel to the Navajo Reservation in New Mexico and Arizona. Three towns will be visited and the members will meet these at-risk teenagers and take time to educate them on the benefits an education can provide. The goal of this is to make a future seem more real and attainable to these young women. The members will take these young ladies on as “younger sisters” or “adeezhi” and serve as mentors beyond the visit.
Our members will help these young women navigate the process of graduating high school, applying to college, college life, and finally job search. The members will give the love and support these girls need to succeed.
A select group of girls will be taken on a field trip with their big sisters to Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, an institution that waives tuition for Native American students.
The NAWMBA members will be traveling from Houston, Texas to Gallup, New Mexico on March 15, 2009. The following are the dates and schools the NAWMBA members will visit:
- Monday, March 16 – JFK Mid School, Gallup, NM
- Tuesday, March 17 – Sanders Valley High School, Sanders, AZ
- Wednesday, March 18 – Window Rock High School, Window Rock, AZ
- Thursday, March 19 – Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO
The NAWMBA members will visit each school for one full day; however, the itinerary will be different for each individual school.
Local Community Support
NAWMBA welcomes the opportunity to meet local area business leaders in hopes that the leaders may support the project both financially and spiritually.
The project will need funds to be successful. Funds raised will go toward the following:
- Rental car
- Hotel rooms
- Any funds raised in addition to travel expenses will go toward establishing a Shideezhi Project Scholarship Fund
Donations can be made by credit card at the National NAWMBA Website.
Donations by personal check are also accepted. Please make the check payable to “NAWMBA” and mail to:
NAWMBA - UH Chapter
Campus Activities, Box #525
Houston, TX 77204-3031