r On Oct. 14, students from each Nebo School District high school were invited to spend the morning at the district office to attend Naat’áanii Day, sponsored by the Title VI Indian Education Program. Students and their counselors listened to Dr. Kyle Reyes, assistant professor and secondary education and special assistant to the president for inclusion at Utah Valley University. The students also learned about Gear Up, a program that helps students with their college aspirations. Zylia Lopez, a counselor for the Gear Up project, shared the benefits of joining.
Through stories and experiences, Reyes shared the power of owning our personal scripts. He emphasized taking charge of how the scripts of our lives can change depending on the choices we make. Reyes shared three tenets that can change how we choose: honor your past, honor your present and honor your future.rAt a young age, Reyes decided that he was not smart enough to excel in school. Then a teacher in high school noticed his graffiti art in his notebook and called it art. She told him he should be in an AP art class; that changed his script. He challenged each person in attendance to work hard, find what they are passionate about and remember that they are the owners of their scripts.
It was an inspiring morning for all in attendance. There were 31 ethnicities represented at the presentation ranging from Mohawk to Tongan, Bolivian, Swiss, Navajo, English and Hopi. The word Naat’áanii in Navajo means one who guides, directs or is looked up to for direction and growth.
“Leaders can be adults, children and all things living and natural phenomenon. We can all be leaders in one sense or another; however, the title must be earned and not self-proclaimed,” said Brenda Beyal.