Canku Ota

(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


June 2, 2001 - Issue 37



Seniors Helping Seniors in Shiprock


by Jim Snyder Staff writer The Farmington Daily Times

SHIPROCK - Two days before the Shiprock Class of 2001 graduates, they weren't thinking about what they would do this summer. They were thinking about helping their elders at the Shiprock Senior Center.

The senior class at Shiprock High School donated $8,000 to the Shiprock Senior Center.

"It's a way of giving back to the community from all we've taken from it," student LaVerna Benally, a senior, said. "It is a popular stereotype that teens are self-centered and think only about their egos," Benally added, but that's not always the case.

The senior class has been conducting fund-raising activities since its freshman year. They've run snack bars each day at the school during lunch, and most recently used money raised toward their senior prom. But at the end of their senior year they discovered they had a huge surplus, Benally said, and wanted to put the money back into the community where it would help.

"It's a Navajo tradition that you're supposed to respect your elders," student Rochelle Jim said.

A handful of the senior students visited the center and had lunch with their elders.

It was a mixed blessing for the Shiprock Senior Center because Elwood Austin, the president of the local senior council for the center, died last Saturday after an illness.

"I wanted him to be here for this," center supervisor Barbara Begaye said. "It was a shock when I called this morning," her eyes tearing. Begaye added that Austin was instrumental in helping to start the center.

Begaye was pleased to see the seniors visiting the elders at lunch time.

"I have to give a lot of credit to the high school. The seniors started coming over (to help) the day they started leveling the ground for the parking lot," Begaye said.

The $8,000 will pay for a fence to be put around the back of the center, which has been vandalized in the past.

Shiprock Senior High School
Hello, welcome to the Shiprock High School web page. Shiprock High is located in Northwest New Mexico, approximately 25 miles southeast of the Four Corners.




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