Student Highlight October 2020
Our October student highlight is Brandi Nicole Simonson. Brandi is a member of the Navajo tribe with ambitions to become a healthcare administrator. Brandi is a mother of 3 and is working hard to instill her cultural values in her children, including the importance of education.
Ya’at’eeh! Loloma! Hello! My name is Brandi Nicole Simonson. I am 28 years old, a Mother of 3 and a member of the Navajo Tribe. My clans are Rock Gap People, Water Flows Together, Hopi Sand and Chiricahua Apache. I was born and raised on the Navajo Reservation in Tuba City, Arizona. It’s not a big city, it’s very rural and only has two stop lights. I am at the end of my Junior year transitioning into my Senior year at Arizona State University. I am also a frequent participant in my Hopi culture from my Grandfather’s side, to this day we continue to hold and practice ceremonial and social dances year-round. Growing up in this culture, I value the teachings that I’ve grown accustomed to that developed me into the person I am today. I also instill these teachings into my children as well. Along with being a Mother, I am also a full-time student at Arizona State University, after receiving an associate degree through a local community college. I’ve applied and been accepted to Arizona State to continue on.
I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Health Entrepreneurship and Innovation. This is similar to having a business degree in Health care. With this degree, I am learning how to develop competence in designing, applying, and testing innovative ways of new ideas. Through the courses I’ve done so far, I’ve developed the importance of applying cultural competency developing documents, visual aids, public speaking to various audiences ranging from everyday people, researchers, administrators and health professionals. With this degree I plan on giving back to my community and doing my part assisting in running the health care system to continue to provide services to our communities, most of all to our Indigenous peoples.
Being a stay-at-home Mother and a Full-time student, I don’t have the funding to fully cover my academic tuition and costs. I am almost to the finish line of getting my degree, and I believe I have what it takes to make a change in healthcare for our Native American people. When completed with Arizona State University, I plan on applying for jobs with Indian Health Services or Native Health, a local clinic for all tribes.
Ahéhee’, Asquali, Thank You!