Hopi grads urged to pursue opportunity<br>
“I was blessed with the opportunity to meet people and I paid attention to what people said. I respected myself and others around me,” he said.
Vicenti told the graduates that opportunities lead to choice, which leads to confidence, which finally leads to success. He said if people work hard and make career choices that they become well respected by other people.
“People become role models by hard work and caring,” he said. “Work hard at what you do and everything else will fall in place.”
Vicenti told the graduates that they are blessed with gifts of talent and have now earned the power of choice. He said the key to success is respecting others “and the world around you.”
“My rewards are the people I meet—not my title or degree,” he said.
Vicenti urged the graduates to learn their language and preserve their culture.
“Realize what you do in life impacts all who know you,” he said.
Vicenti recognized Georgia Tsinigine and Pearlyn Tomosie as role models. Tsinigine is a Hopi/Navajo graduate of the University of Arizona Medical School.
Tomosie is a graduate of Hopi High School and will attend Harvard Medical School’s summer program.
Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. congratulated the graduates, but quickly added that they should have a good idea whether they will go into the military, trade school, college or get a job.
Chairman Taylor said it is sad that there aren’t many jobs available on the Hopi Reservation. However, he said these students have been given the knowledge, skills and tools to find their calling.
“Your challenge is to fulfill the promise of life. I hope you choose the difficult road, not the easy road,” he said.
Taylor pointed to Dr. Vicenti as someone who challenged himself to succeed.
“He totally enjoys his work. He finds fulfillment by helping people. His education makes him marketable anyplace in the world,” he said.
Chairman Taylor told the graduates that they can become doctors, attorneys, engineers, teachers, administrators or military officers.
“You have the intellect,” he said.
Taylor said the Hopi Endowment Fund has $2,500 available per semester for each college student as long as they meet the grade point average and program requirements. He said a tribally funded vocational education program will be implemented in the fall.
“We want students to stay in school until they succeed. We want to provide them with a ‘bahana’ (non-Hopi) education so they can succeed,” he said.
Hopi High Principal Glenn Gilman said everyone has the same goal for the graduates that they want them to succeed after high school. He said Dr. Vicenti has the strong vision of keeping post-secondary education as a top priority.
“He’s a role model,” Gilman said.
Gilman recounted how he has worked with many of these students for the past six years as they went to Hopi Junior High and then Hopi High.
“They’ve spent one-third of their life here and so have I,” he said about his last 16 years.
Gilman said it was a pleasure to watch these students grow academically, socially and athletically.
He said Hopi Junior/Senior High School has invested a lot of money into its science and other programs so that its students can succeed. He said this has worked as many graduates are going on to prestigious universities such as Harvard, Dartmouth and Stanford.
“You have been provided with the tools. Now, it’s up to you. The future is in your hands. Make the most of the opportunities,” he said.
Thomas Mentzer, advisor for the National Honor Society, spoke with pride about this group that raised and delivered more than 200 bags of food to the elderly at Christmas and worked on other community projects. The nine graduating NHS members were presented with watches with the NHS insignia.