Mendocino College held its 33rd Annual Native American Motivation Day on Friday, May 10, bringing over 300 Native American students in grades 6-12 from the community to the campus. The goal of this event is to motivate youth to pursue higher education, provide them with an opportunity to learn about Mendocino College programs, and meet representatives from local organizations and four year universities.
The event was attended by students from Ukiah High School, South Valley High School, New Beginnings, Pomolita Middle School, Eagle Peak Middle School, Upper Lake Middle School, Upper Lake High School, Clearlake High School, Kelseyville High School, Point Arena, Terrace Middle School, Laytonville High School, Potter Valley High School, Mountain Vista Middle School, Willits High School, and Baechtol Grove Middle School.
The day consisted of breakout sessions, a career panel, a key note speaker, and lunch. The career panel included Sheriff Tom Allman, Jessica Aikman, LVN, Tina Rader (HR Director-Savings Bank), and Dan Buffalo (Finance Director-City of Ukiah).
This year’s keynote speaker was Mikela Jones, a member of the Little River Band of Pomo Indians located in Northern California. Though he is not a member, he is also a relative of the Paiute Shoshone Tribe in Owyhee Nevada. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from CSU, Sacramento in Philosophy with an emphasis in Ethics and Applied Law and a Master’s of Science from San Diego State University in School Counseling. Jones is currently the Principal for the United Auburn Indian Community School outside of Sacramento. He also has a consulting business, providing trainings on leadership, wellness, and motivation and has been doing community wellness and leadership trainings for over 20 years. Mikela lives by the words, “Success is not by chance, but by choice,” and promotes this philosophy throughout Indian Country.
The Ukiah campus of Mendocino College is located at 1000 Hensley Creek Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.