Giving back to what’s important

At times throughout my career I’ve wished for opportunities that would allow me to contribute something meaningful to the organizations that have helped me along the way. The Native American Journalists Association is one of those organizations.

NAJA gave me a scholarship in the late-1980s so I could finish graduate school at Marquette University. A few years later, the membership voted me onto the NAJA Board. From 1994-96, I served as president. And through my involvement with this wonderful nonprofit group, I gained leadership skills and met some outstanding individuals – some of whom are lifelong friends and mentors. NAJA also has allowed me to make important connections that have helped me in my career.

I consider myself blessed to finally have gotten a chance to give back to NAJA a bit of my time and energy. For the past four months, I have been under a short-term contract to help NAJA with its annual student projects and to help launch a one-year pilot project to help Native American college skills gain skills in multimedia journalism. The new program is called the Native American Journalism Fellowship, and it’s made possible through the help of two partners: the Newseum Institute and the University of Montana School of Journalism.

I am passionate about helping young Native people start their own career paths in journalism. NAJA is in the final days of a month-long campaign to raise $10,000 by June 30. Will you help? As of 5 p.m. on June 19, we had raised $7,285. We actually need to raise more than $15,000, but we hope to raise the minimum of $10,000. Please view the video below. Then click here for more information and give what you can to this important endeavor. Thank you!

Follow me on Twitter @karenmichel and on Facebook at http://www.facebook/ADigitalNativeAmerican.

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