Challenge Accepted!! I’ve never been prepared for life.  I wasn’t born with a free pass. Everything I know I’ve learned the hard way.  I had to miss so many shots in order to learn how to make them. Life’s a game we have to play to rise above and conquer in order to reach our dreams.  Nothing is unbelievable. I believe in karma and that I manifest my own destiny. I’ve never let my circumstances define who I am. “I AM” are two of the most powerful words only we can tell ourselves, because of what follows after them. “I am POWERFUL”, “I am FEARLESSS. I’ve learned studying the human anatomy that it’s a scientific fact that the hormones of stress downregulate our genes and over time create disease. So if we manifest positivity we can also create our own happiness, health and success. It’s a lot easier said than done when the odds are against you. As a young Lakota win’yan I was born a statistic. I had to adapt to poverty, lack of education, health issues, generational trauma, abuse, addiction, shame. I always told myself I’d be better than that. I am not a victim, I am a warrior. I have a part time cleaning job. I homeschooled my 13 year old. I attend college at Oglala Lakota College for Nursing. I have three classes until I apply for the nursing program in the fall of ’22; human physiology, microbiology and algebra 2. All are pretty tough classes. I have completed active relationships, 2 parenting classes, financial classes, intensive outpatient treatment all in the past 3 months.

I have 5 kids, ages 13, 12, and 3.  I am currently pregnant and will bring my child into this world in the spring of 2022.  I lost my first born son in 2015 to SIDS, he was 26 days old. After he passed away a huge part of me died with him. Then soon after my niece died from cancer. I tried to run from my life. I turned to men, drugs, the streets and booze to cope with it. I lost everything that ever meant anything to me, my kids, my friends, my family, my home, my car, my goals. My respect for life was what I ultimately lost. I overcame homelessness, abuse, bullying, addiction, and so much more. If I were to tell my entire story many would say you can never tell and that I carry it so well. On days that it crosses my that giving up might be an option and the weight of three tine people’s (my children) little worlds are going to come crashing down around me. I look back at everything I overcame. I remind myself to not sell myself short. I tell myself the truth that life isn’t easy, life isn’t fair. I am strong willed, so I endure through the struggles with the relentlessness and courage until I regain my awareness that I am capable of anything I set my mind on. Today I face challenges as opportunities for me to grow. I will continue to persevere in spite of what challenges cross my path. I walk in prayer so that Tunkasila may bless and heal my oyate. It has been an honor and privilege to have been nominated for this opportunity to win a free vehicle and the chance to share a little of my struggle with my community. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas.