Listen to my story...
Ya 'at 'eeh, shi ei Dearlynn yinishe. Ta 'baaha nishliigo. Bi 'tahnii bashishchiin. Ta 'nezahnii ei dashicheii doo Tachinii dashinali. Beegahshi 'bi 'too dee' nasha. Shizhe 'e doo shima ei Delbert doo Caroline wolye. Shimasani doo shicheii ei Mae doo Fred wolye, Shinali hastiin doo shinali asdzaan ei James doo Ann wolye. Akoot'eegho asdzaan nishli.
Hello, my name is Dearlynn, and I am of the Navajo tribe. I am of the Edge Water clan, born for the Folded Arms clan. My maternal grandfather is Tangled People clan, and my paternal grandfather is Red Running into the Water clan. I am from Cow Springs, Arizona, on the Navajo Reservation. My parents are Caroline and Delbert. My maternal grandparents are Mae and Edward. My late paternal grandparents are James and Ann. This is how I introduce myself as a woman.
Cow Springs is between Tuba City and Kayenta, Arizona. The nearest store would be about fifteen miles away. I grew up in Cow Springs. Living here built me into who I am as an individual. My daily chores consist of cooking, cleaning, taking care of my younger sibling, Daylon, yard work, chopping wood, feeding the livestock, hauling water, and anything else that needs to be done around our house.
During the winter is when things become very challenging, especially with the cold wind and snow. I have to shovel the snow around the house, check on our livestock, beat the water troughs with sticks and rocks to break the ice for the animal's thirst, and bring in wood and coal constantly to maintain a warm house. No matter what the weather conditions are like or how I may feel, there is no escape from doing chores.
In our Navajo tradition, we have a lesson that we are taught about our four sacred mountains. Our four sacred mountains are our guidance as a Navajo individual. My family is my four sacred mountains. They each surround me with strength, motivation, protection, and perfection.
Shima (my mother", pronounced "shih-ma") is my strength. Shima is currently working two jobs in Cortez, Colorado. Shima taught me no matter what obstacle I come across, I am capable of conquering anything.
Shitsili ("my younger brother", pronounced "Shih-tss-il-i") is my motivation. I do my best not only for myself, but for him. Shitsili needs someone to look up to in life. I'm that someone.
Shizhe 'e ("my father" pronounced "shi-zh-ei") is my protection.
Someone to sigh with, someone to cry with,
To be brought smiles that will go on for miles.
Someone to talk with, someone to walk with, wherever a path in life goes.
My grandma is a treasure, an full around pleasure.
She is there to share with, to love and care,
wrapped with affection and made of perfection.
My grandma is a gift from high above.
I wrote this about Shimasani ("'my maternal grandmother", pronounced: "shih-muh-sani") when I was eight. Shimasani is my perfection. She taught me everything I must know as a young, Navajo woman. I learned the most important lessons from her, especially about my Navajo language. Shimasani has advanced arthritis. If you saw her, you would never know it. I am very thankful for Shimasani.
I hold numerous leadership positions, such as, president of Distributive Educational Clubs of America, Upward Bound, Outdoor Challenge Club, an active member among my senior class and National Honor Society (NHS), and a Youth Leader for my church. I took advantage of the projects that were assigned to me in NHS. If NHS did not have any projects to serve, I searched for my own. I have participated in soup kitchens, trash pick-ups, organizational walks/runs, toy drives, jacket drives, back-yard cleaning, Our Honoring Elder's Day, Veteran's Day Dinners, making quilts, walking dogs, babysitting, etc. I have created life long memories with these projects. They helped me grow as a person.
I plan to attend the University of Arizona and double major in special education and social work. On the Navajo Reservation it is common to have someone in your family who is an alcoholic and to grow up with domestic violence. After I receive my Master's Degree in social work, I plan to come back to the Navajo Reservation and assist those in such situations. As of special education, from my class course in Future Education Association I have found my passion working as a special education teacher. Hopefully one day I not only return as a social worker, but as a special education teacher as well.
My family always instilled in me that education is the key to my success. I always keep that in my mind. I want to start my success at the University of Arizona majoring in social work and minoring in special education. I will return to my Navajo Nation and help perfect it. I know I will succeed. I am strength, motivation, protection, and perfection.
I appreciate the time you as a reader have given to read my essay and what I have to offer. I would like to say once again, Ahee'hee (”thank-you", pronounced "ah-heh-eh") for giving me the opportunity to apply for this scholarship it would greatly assist me in pursing my dreams. My family is struggling on a daily basis for money since my mother is the only one employed who provides for my younger brother and I therefore being awarded scholarships would help not only me, but my family as well.