Kyle (age 28) is from the village of Orayvi and member of the Tapwungwa-Pipwungwa (Rabbit/Tobacco Clan). He graduated from Hopi Jr./Sr. High School in 2005. In spring 2015, he completed his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in sculpture from Northern Arizona University. Kyle is currently researching graduate schools as he aspires to be a professor, teaching art. His proud parents are Wendell Navenma and the late Ezelda Navenma.
How do you see your life changing by completing your educational goals?
My life has already changed before I received any degree. My time in school has taken my art to a professional level, which is now opening up different opportunities for me. I’ve been put in a position to become a full time artist, but eventually I want to teach at the university level. That would be a huge change for me, as I never seen myself as a teacher. By completing all my educational goals, it would open countless opportunities for me. I’m not sure what that’ll be just yet, but it will definitely be for the better.
Provide an example of an obstacle or challenge you overcame to continue your education journey?
For the most part, the biggest obstacle I had faced was myself. There would be times where I had lost that drive to finish school. I had taken time off and didn’t think I would ever finish what I had started. Lack of motivation was a struggle I dealt with early on. When my mother passed, I think people expected me to give up what I was doing. In fact, the loss of my mother had given me the motivation to never stop dreaming. I had turned anger into energy I used to stay focused. In my mind, if someone so kind-hearted and loving could be taken away, no one’s life is a given. From that point on, I made it my goal to achieve and learn as much as I could. I am constantly learning and growing, everything I do is for myself, my family, and all who have helped me along the way. I can’t stress this enough, I did not make it this far alone.
How is being a part of Hopi special for you?
“I stay connected to all that goes on at home on Hopi. I’ve been lucky to not have missed any ceremonies while attending school. Whether at Santa Fe or Flagstaff, I knew I was close enough that I had no excuse to miss a ceremony. Hopi is where I learned discipline, respect, and where I received my strength, mentally and physically. I am a product of Hopi, I’ve learned about life from summers in the fields and participating in ceremonies. Though I may have been born into the Hopi lineage, I have yet to earn the name Hopi. For Hopi is more than just a tribe on an enrollment card, it is a way of life. I may not be a “traditional” Hopi, but I do try and a keep a good heart, inner being, and I think that’s a good start. My art reflects the struggle to maintain balance between two ways of living.
If you were to meet the donor who helped fund your scholarship, what would you say to that person?
“I would like to say thank you. They have given me and many others the opportunity to better our lives. They have given hope and options which may have not been available before. No words really can express how much I appreciate all they have done. I hope my actions will prove that their help didn’t go to waste.