Stepping back and reflecting on where I am in this internship with the NB3 Foundation makes me feel content and grounded. This summer I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with other Native individuals who are interested in learning to work with their community of San Felipe Pueblo to teach and maintain healthy lifestyles. As I took time to reflect on where we began as a team and where we are going now, it reminded me of why I want to work in the field I do. The NB3F history and mission of the program, the direct service we provide and the community bonding we have done all illustrate a few of the commonwealth in our community.
Working in the Pueblo of San Felipe has been very rewarding in that we are working with our own Native community members to make a difference. I may not be from the Pueblo of San Felipe, but being a Pueblo woman, I feel very content helping because they are still apart of my greater Native American community. Our work space is just east of the mesa floor where the Pueblo of San Felipe people live and east of the Rio Grande river. The children we provide service for come from a very beautiful place with very rich culture and traditions. I feel because of this sense of place and their closeness to their culture the tribal programs are very welcoming of the NB3F and our programs to teach and role model healthy lifestyles.
Our direct service has consisted of providing soccer, golf and yoga programs for the students to work on various types of physical activities. Moreover, we provide a nutrition curriculum to students who participate in our soccer and golf programs. I have had the opportunity to work closely with the nutrition program to teach students the important reasons for eating healthy, while creating healthy snacks with them. We also gave them recipe cards so the students can make the snacks with their families at home. It was very rewarding to hear students exclaim how much they loved the snack and were looking forward to making it at home. Those simple remarks made our hearts happy because it meant our hard work is paying off and our students will remember and pass on what they learned to their families.
While it’s important to do the work we do, I feel it’s also important to balance it out with positive community building so our team can strive. Our work has been balanced with a good amount of team building through talking, joking with one another as well as visiting our local mountain center where we working on teamwork through walking on low ropes and high ropes courses. This was one important event because not only were NB3 interns included but the golf instructors were present and it created a space for us all to get to know one another. Through this recreation we are able to let loose and have fun in order to counterbalance our busy work schedules. Moreover, we are also bonding over creating Public Service Announcements. My team is working on a “drink more water” PSA and we are using humor to get more people to drink water. I shall share the final product with you all.
Working with one another to create a space for San Felipe students to be physically active, eat nutritious and interact with one another has been rewarding. Teaching healthy lifestyles, working in our own tribal communities and having fun along the way are a few examples of our collective commonwealth. This reflective experience has reminded me of why I love working with my tribal communities to ensure they are maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Moving forward I will continue to do the best job I could possibly do to ensure our communities are continuously moving in positive directions for the benefit of our future generations.