Report Date
November 2014
Learning Log

I am deeply grateful to the Bush Foundation. The 2014 fellowship has ensured that my pursuit of a doctorate degree is achieved, with additional opportunity to enhance the academic classroom with traditional teachings of our ancestors.

I have learned much during the first six months of this experience. However, gratitude is the primary experience. I am grateful to be in the midst of five classes, writing a dissertation proposal, and immersed in clinical training at a neurocognitive assessment clinic. It is a great privilege to obtain a doctorate degree and it is achieved with not only hard work and money, but with time and space to pursue such a selfish endeavor. I would not have the time and space to achieve and “be” in pursuit of my dreams without the fellowship. The level of support and encouragement from the Bush Foundation staff has been life changing and I am full of gratitude.

The fellowship has provided the opportunity to reflect on my goal to create a multicultural health and wellness clinic, the purpose for the degree, and to incorporate the deeper meaning and need for this work into my daily routine. I am sometimes overwhelmed by daily tasks and requests of others for my time and work. The fellowship reminds me that I am not alone and that my ideas and energy are supported. I will do this work, in and with community. The words and inspiration of my mentor, Chief Executive Marge Anderson, keep me focused, humble, and provide great energy. I often turn to her in times of self-doubt or fear and her spirit reminds me that this work and fellowship is not about me or the degree I pursue, it is about all of us creating a better way of being in the world, just as all of our relations did and will do again.

My work, drive to achieve, and be of service to others has been a primary source of my identity. I did not understand how disconnected from my own humanity I had become. The fellowship has challenged me to examine my life as it relates to my own leadership, skills, and spirituality. It has allowed me to explore dark places of shame and gather with women to discover positive sources of connection and find deeper meaning in just being and less doing.

In addition to an academic degree and traditional teaching, the fellowship has created interest to research where and how shame fuels multicultural women to achieve. I am currently working to develop female multicultural partnerships to grow the Heritage Strategic Group and in the process of listening to volunteers share their own experience of shame and achievement. We are unsure where this work will lead us, but we know the story is important and the lessons might help young woman gain insight into how western culture influences an identity of shame, that we wear as a badge of honor, in pursuit of our Wonder Woman capes. Our goal is to develop a professional lens for a deeply personal need, and learn how we might achieve together without losing our individual selves, or connection to our humanity, with all of our relations.

I remain focused on achieving my goals. However, the fellowship has added a layer of new energy, refreshing energy, to “be” more with my sisterhood and in community, and do less, creating value as a human being in connection. I am grateful and excited to “be in fellowship.”