Home Town: Monument Valley
Scholarship: Gates Millennium Program
School: Duke University
Major: Public Policy/ Minor in Cultural Anthropology
My name is Shandiin Herrera and I am a proud member of the Navajo Nation. I grew up in the rural community of Monument Valley, UT. Currently, I am attending Duke University where I am pursuing my degree in Public Policy concurrent with a minor in Cultural Anthropology. I have been very grateful for the many scholarship organizations that have assisted me along my educational journey, GMS being one of them. At Duke, I am involved with the Native American Student Alliance, and this year I am head of the pow wow committee. I am also involved with The Other Blog, a student-run blog that shares stories reflecting the diversity in our student body. In my free time I enjoy playing basketball, attending Zumba and HIIT classes, watching Netflix, journaling, and going to dinner with friends. My experience as a Navajo student at Duke has given me new perspectives, and I have seen growth in myself as a student, a professional, and a leader. Though I have enjoyed the many opportunities provided by Duke, a summer in Peru included, I am eager to return to the Navajo Nation. I am sure many Native college students can relate to the dilemmas I faced as a young inquisitive mind leaving the reservation for the first time. I truly miss the sunrises from the valley, the dirt roads, and the familiar faces. but I am thankful for the opportunities to represent my tribe. Recognizing the power in my voice in spaces where Native people are absent has been one of the greatest achievements in my time at Duke thus far.