Student Highlight January 2020

January 12, 2020

Hello, my name is Kodiak Ronald Cleveland. I am a 27 year old enrolled Hoocąk (Ho-Chunk) tribal member, father, husband, and psychology student attending Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. Ever since I was a young man, I knew I would pursue college in order to advance my career. However, I did not know that out of my six siblings, being the second youngest sibling of them all (out of seven of us, total), I am most likely to be the first to graduate and earn a college degree.

I grew up in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, and learned my Hoocąk language, heritage and cultural ways from elders in my Hoocąk community. I have carried such knowledge with me as I have transitioned from being a young man, to a husband, and to being a father to my toddler son who is soon to be three this upcoming January. I have encountered much trauma in my life and have born witness to loved ones who have struggled with various health conditions, substance abuse addictions, and mental health disorders. Only after I had experienced traveling and working in various places and roles, did I begin to realize the truth of what matters most to me: holistic mental health well-being. It is difficult to accomplish healthy mental well-being, especially in this day and age of overwhelming stimuli and environmental impacts. Because of such barriers to positive and healthy mental well-being, I recognize the need for the following professions: social work, family counseling, marriage counseling, substance abuse rehabilitation, counseling for veterans, and child psychologists. Above mentioned professions are united in that they require a solid foundation in psychology and sociology which explains my pursuit of a bachelor’s degree in psychology from a Liberal Arts college.

I anticipate contributing back to Native American communities and the border-towns surrounding such communities. As I pursue my career in psychology, I balance and support my family by encouraging my wife to continue her collegiate studies, and my son to have the best upbringing I can provide him, as he is a young Hoocąk who I am sure will one day strive to do great things, as well.

Thank you,

Kodiak Ronald Cleveland



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