By Christina Rose
“A NASA Student Ambassador is an honor offered to selective internship/fellowship students,” read an email from NASA headquarters. As an Ambassador, Delaena will have access to employment opportunities and educational experiences that will increase her skills while she continues to work towards her degree in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, or STEM.
Before she graduated from her reservation high school, Delaena was told by her guidance counselors that she should not attempt to reach her goal of attending Harvard. “Everyone told me I should be a painter,” Delaena said with a wry smile.
Struggling with low self-esteem and being told she wasn’t capable of going to Harvard, Delaena didn’t apply. “At that age, we are so accepting of what the counselors tell us we can be,” she said.
For more on Native science students, see Navajo Nation Science Fair and Native Students in Science Bowl.