Summer internships at Navajo Gaming brings students back to the Nation

Interns with Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprises were from a variety of town and communities on the Navajo Nation. (Photo/Navajo Gaming)

Interns with Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprises were from a variety of town and communities on the Navajo Nation. (Photo/Navajo Gaming)

TWIN ARROWS, Ariz. — The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (Navajo Gaming) celebrated another successful summer with its 2019 interns with a recent recognition event at Twin Arrows Casino Resort.

Navajo Gaming’s summer Internship Program was created in 2016 to team up Navajo students with senior-level mentors in their field of study, provide opportunities to gain real-world experience, facilitate preparation for high-caliber jobs after graduation and strengthen Navajo Gaming. Nearly 50 college-aged Navajo students have successfully completed the program over the past four years.

“Navajo Gaming strives to positively impact future leaders of the Nation through an internship program that brings Navajo students back to the Nation, allows them to provide meaningful contributions to the Enterprise and learn from knowledgeable mentors eager to help them succeed,” said Brian Parrish, Navajo Gaming Interim CEO. “We’re grateful for these interns’ commitment and the learning experience it is for both our team and the students, as together we work to improve Navajo Gaming for the benefit of the Navajo people.”

Since 2016, Navajo Gaming has expanded its internship initiatives, and in 2018, hired 20 Navajo students to learn how to build a business from the ground up. The Travel Plaza Project allowed recent graduates from educational institutions in the Four Corners to learn business theory, as well as practical application, while contributing to the design, construction and operations of the Travel Center — depending on their areas of study. Navajo Gaming senior leadership provided valuable mentorship and monitoring of the highly successful program. The students’ efforts will be on display late fall 2019 when the Navajo Blue Travel Plaza, located adjacent to Twin Arrows Casino Resort, has its grand opening.

Quincy Natay, chairman of the Navajo Gaming Board of Directors added, “We believe in supporting our Navajo people through education coupled with on-the-job experiences.”

At the event, this year’s six exemplary interns shared how Navajo Gaming helped them determine career paths, fostered a better understand of their strengths and gained more confidence as they look for to rewarding jobs after graduation.

Summer 2019 interns

Ashton Keams, Leupp, Arizon, Charla Keyaanie of Luepp, Hahnabah Manygoats, Tiis Ts’oh Sikaad, New Mexico, Jancee Etsitty, Page, Arizona, Lynnae Joe, Gallup, New Mexico and Vivian Todachinnie, Farmington, New Mexico.

When asked by Northern Edge Casino General Manager Cliff Enrlich about the impact of the program and what can be improved moving forward, Todachinnie shared, “We as interns are now great advocates of Navajo Gaming through our word-of-mouth recommendations. We will share what we’ve learned with others as we return to school and help increase awareness of the positive impact Navajo Gaming had on us as student interns, as well as how it benefits the Nation as a whole.”

Information provided by Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise

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