Richfield Residential Hall students were treated to a visit from the Richfield Residential Hall Governing Board on Friday, September 18th. All four members of the board made the trip from the Navajo Nation to welcome students to the program and thank them for making the decision to pursue their education at RRH.
After the members of the board greeted each student, the RRH Student Body (Action Team) President, Calsie Sockyma introduced the Richfield Residential Hall Governing Board.
RRH Alumni (SSHS Class of ’84) and RRH Governing Board Member Elroy Watson was the first to address the students. Mr. Watson addressed students by clan and reiterated traditional teachings that would ensure the students never feel alone. He then thanked the students for trusting RRH with their future and told them to have integrity, never cheat themselves and make the most of the opportunities available to them as students at RRH. Mr. Watson concluded his remarks by telling students that they are our future. “The Navajo Nation needs leaders. We need you to prepare yourselves here and carry it forward.”
RRH Governing Board President, Denis Tsosie (RRH Alumni / RHS Class of ’68) then welcomed the students to the program. “You chose to come and we commend you for that decision. Now, we challenge you to stay and finish it. This is your first step to getting ahead in life.” Mr. Tsosie reiterated the many opportunities, facilities and resources available to RRH students. He challenged each student to take advantage of these resources and to be college bound and to develop a habit of finishing what they start. Mr. Tsosie closed his comments by saying, “This dorm gave me a lot; it gave me a great education and good skills that allowed me to have a good life.”
RRH Governing Board Vice President, Bill Cly (RRH Alumni / SSHS Class of ’67) opened his remarks by introducing one of his high school classmates. Mr. Eric Tuft attended SSHS with Mr. Cly and graduated as the Valedictorian of SSHS. Mr. Tuft shared some of his experiences in going to school with RRH students. He said they have always been some of the most talented students and he encouraged this year’s students to take advantage of every opportunity that they have in this great program. Mr. Cly then said, “we really do care about you, about this program and about these staff.” Echoing the sentiments of his colleagues, Mr. Cly encouraged students to take advantage of all that RRH has to offer for all four years. He told the students that it would take effort, but all that they would be involved in at RRH would give them the tools to succeed in the future. Mr. Cly commended the staff for their commitment to the program and the students. He told the students that he did not know of a more educated staff anywhere and encouraged students to utilize the staff.
Ms. Nora Tallman, RRH Governing Board Secretary, wrapped up the motivational messages by pulling from cultural stories. Drawing upon the story of the hero twins, Ms. Tallman stated that our world is still full of “monsters” that can hurt us. She cautioned students to avoid drugs, alcohol, suicide, texting and driving and a range of other challenges that today’s students face. “I really think of you as my own kids and I want the best for you.” She reminded the students to greet one another by clan and to show proper respect to their elders. She then told the students that by being at RRH, there are more doors open to them than anywhere else and she encouraged them to explore these doors. She reiterated the importance of a good education and discussed how hard the board and the staff work to give each student the best. Ms. Tallman then implored students to take advantage of all of these opportunities.
Following the inspirational messages, students spent some time visiting with members of the Board. We are all grateful for all that our wonderful board does for our students and we are looking forward to a fantastic year.