SPSCC hosts the annual Day of College for Native American students

SPSCC, in collaboration with representatives from the Nisqually and Squaxin Island tribal communities, hosted the annual Day at College event on Nov. 15. The event gave Native American students from Thurston County high schools the opportunity to visit a college campus and explore options in higher education.

The event featured a Native American student panel that allowed the high school students to hear experiences of college students they might identify with, said Director of Diversity and Equity Eileen Yoshina.Students Craig Matthew Davis and Tyrone Cawston were members of the panel. “I decided to get involved because I wanted to encourage Native youth to pursue a future they would want,” said Davis.

The panel discussed the struggles in the journey to college. “I want them to know that there are many ways to be native and that they are key components to more Native voices being heard,” said Cawston. He said he learned to balance college and his connection to community by prioritizing, something he wanted the students to learn as well.

Yolanda Machado, SPSCC counselor and assistant to the president of tribal relations, taught a career exploration workshop. “The workshop helped the students figure out a career that best suited their personality and skills,” said Machado.

In an art workshop taught by Professors Jane Stone and Joe Batt, students created a mixed media project. “We took pictures of students in high contrast and allowed them to use different mediums to express their identities,” said Stone. The project was showcased in the art gallery of the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center as
a part of the Native American Heritage art show.