This post launches our new monthly blog post featuring an FJV who reflects on their time of service and how it shaped their future pursuits. Thanks for sharing your story to get us started Greg!
In 1993-94, I lived in Sitka, Alaska and served as a Native Youth Advocate for the Tlingit tribe. My day was divided between working with the tribe to help kids who were in, or needed to be placed in, foster homes or group homes. Each afternoon, I ran an after school club, where elementary and middle school kids played games, did homework and had a safe, somewhat structured place to hang out. Now, exactly twenty years later, I’m a professor and the Director of an interdisciplinary program which admits rural minority students, out of high school, into the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. I can see a direct connection between the kind of service I did as a JV on an island in Alaska, to the work I’m now doing every day to advance the opportunities of Native students, as well as other students from underrepresented and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds—only now I don’t eat very much salmon.