10 Questions
Published in

10 Questions

Courtesy of Danielle Forward.

Just 18 Really Awesome Native Folks in STEM

1. Andrea Delgado-Olson

What’s a challenge you’ve faced and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

2. Corey Ashley

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“I was expected to know everything there was to know about Native people right off the bat. Not even just about my tribe, I was obligated to be the voice of ALL Indigenous people. This was a lot to carry on top of the high academic bar set at this institution, plus the transition from a struggling community to a privileged context.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“I’m very proud of the Natives who persevere through the rough path that is present when navigating careers and opportunities that were historically unaccommodating and exploitative toward us.”

3. Danielle Forward

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“I’m at the end of a long line of inherited poverty and trauma, when only a few generations ago, everything was forcefully (and many times, violently) taken from my Native American ancestors.”

“I had to make the most of every day, because I took too big of a risk on myself to not deliver on the promise that I was worth investing in.”

“After 10 years, I finally graduated with my BFA in Interaction Design — as valedictorian.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“We need to see what really happened to our people — because then, you’ll finally understand how your family and your circumstances became the way they are today. You’ll know it’s not because you’re inherently lesser, less capable, or less intelligent, but that things were taken from your family, and you were forced to start at the very bottom.”

4. Dezbah Hatathli

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

5. Gracie Young

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

“We want the students to understand that tech solutions can’t be created without community involvement and participation.”

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“Next quarter, I’ll be working on my senior project, which will focus on creating technology to support Cherokee language learners.”

6. Jessica Skye Paul

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“Looking back on my career in Washington, D.C. and now in Silicon Valley, there is no doubt I had and have allies, but ultimately my own intellect and abilities got me to where I am.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

7. Joe Manuel

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

“My culture is one of the most powerful forces I have ever felt, and I have learned wisdom from my culture that is super rare to find in Western culture.”

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

8. Johnnie Jae

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“My blood flows with the resilience, strength, tenacity and revolutionary love of my ancestors who came before me, who fought, sacrificed and prayed for my survival and my success before I was even conceived.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“Native American Heritage Month is a bittersweet time for many of us because one month just isn’t enough time to make the progress we want to make.”

9. Jonathan Fisk

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“As a queer, genderqueer, disabled, Indigenous person I’m both constantly under a microscope yet constantly erased — and this is especially true in academia.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“It is crucial that I insert my own culture and authentic voice into my work in order to subvert this exclusive and oppressive system that is academia.”

10. Kat Li

What’s a challenge you’ve faced and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

“I’m extremely proud of building and leading a strong product team comprised of women and people of color.”

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

11. Kris Easton

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

“For Tribal reservations to be recognized on that map, and treated the same as was any other nation or municipality was more to me than symbolic. It was a notice that we are still here.”

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“I’m mindful that so many Native youth living in tribal communities feel that they have to chose between their community and a thriving career someday that enables them to provide for their families.”

12. Luke Lightning, PhD

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“I’m proud of the work the team putting together Native American Heritage Night with the SF Giants has done with me over the past 5+ years while also raising funds for Bay Area-based Native American non-profit groups.”

13. Maria Running Fisher Jones

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“We are here, we are resilient and we continue to thrive and persevere.”

14. Matthew Yazzie

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

15. Meredith Burkle

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“A challenge I’ve faced is evaluating and re-evaluating my Indigenous identity, and understanding that it’s ok (and a fact of life) for identity to be nebulous.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

16. Nicole Archambault

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

“ I practice leaning into the discomfort of the obstacle, and I’m just beginning to find my own voice.”

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“We are telling the stories the way they actually happened, passed down through oral tradition and through the early translations of settler interactions.”

17. Tara Astigarraga

What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“I was the first in my family to graduate from college and later went on to obtain my masters degree shortly after the birth of my first daughter.”

18. Taraneh BigBow

What’s a challenge you’ve faced and how did you get through it?

What’s something you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

What’s something that’s been on your mind this Native American Heritage Month?

“I am really proud that I never stopped. I do not have anyone else in my family or tribe that is in software, and I felt like this was a dream that only I had. I’m proud that I took a huge chance and quit both of my jobs and flew from Oklahoma to San Francisco to make my dream come true.”

--

--

10-question interviews with women and non-binary techies of color

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Women of Silicon Valley

Women of Silicon Valley

24K Followers

Telling the stories of resilient women & genderqueer techies, especially those of color.