Find balance in this world or we will suffer

September 6, 2012

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I have heard that the government is going to cut budgets for many programs in January, including cuts to education budgets.

I am a student at Navajo Mountain High School on the Navajo Reservation. I am a junior and have been in the Gear-Up Program for the past year and it has really helped me in school. The program encourages students to stay in school and not drop out. We have a bad dropout problem on the reservation and Gear-Up helps. They also provide tutoring and homework help to help struggling students succeed in school.

Last year I attended a suicide prevention workshop at Monument Valley High School that was sponsored by Gear-Up. It really helped some of the students deal with problems in their lives. Gear-Up also sponsored a trip for some students to go to Washington D.C. We visited Congressman Paul Gosar's office while we were there, and we learned about our government in Washington.

If Congress cuts budgets for education and cuts programs like Gear-Up, the schools on the reservation will suffer a great loss. Our school has already lost a really good teacher because of budget cuts and we only have four teachers now. If there are more budget cuts we will probably lose more good staff members. If Gear-Up is cut it will be difficult for students like me to get the help we need in school and more students might drop out.

I urge Rep. Gosar and Senators McCain and Kyle to work with the other members of Congress to find a balanced approach to balancing the budget. If we don't find balance in the budget process and in this world we will all suffer. A lot of disadvantaged students might never finish high school or ever go to college.

Elijah Barlow
Navajo Mountain, Ariz.

Thank you to NHA staff

My name is Darrell Scott, I'm 19 years old and from the Becenti Chapter, eight miles north of Crownpoint. The reason for my letter is to thank some special people from Navajo Housing Authority Crime Prevention Program.

On Aug. 13 through Aug. 18, I along with 19 other students from different housing areas in the Crownpoint housing area went on a weeklong college tour to several different colleges in Oklahoma and Kansas. I and several other students have never been off the reservation or even past Albuquerque.

I was never given the chance by anyone only because of my run-ins with the law, and yes I was a trouble youth growing up. I did things that I had to do to keep me afloat and it wasn't until recently this past year I graduated with my GED. I never thought about going to college at all I just thought I was going to be some lost person who never will amount to anything at all.

This has all changed since I came back from this educational college tour. I have since been more changed a lot and would like to say thank you to Seth Damon from NHA and Alonzo Cayatineto from Crownpoint NHA for giving me the chance to become someone.

I have been accepted to Haskell for the spring of 2013. I was always told by other people that I was never going to make it or be anybody, but there are people out here that actually care for us young youth in the community.

I would like to thank Navajo Housing Authority for giving my mom and my little brothers and sister a chance to better our lives and for giving us a home to live in. If it wasn't for NHA I don't know where I would be. My little brothers and sister would probably all be at different people's houses.

I always wanted to tell my mom thank you for not giving up on us. It's because of her strong heart and caring ways that I am still here to help her. I will be the first one in my entire family to go college and I am the first one to finish my GED. So I'm thankful for all that these guys have done for me.

Darrell Scott
Crownpoint, N.M.

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