They come from all walks of life and occupy a number of jobs—among them a school administrator, a teacher, a poet/singer/songwriter, a server at a hotel, a musician/photographer/filmmaker/artist, and a community wellness advocate, who is pictured here.
Juanita C. Toledo, 28, Walatowa-Pueblo of Jemez, works for the Wellness Program on the Jemez Pueblo Reservation, and has always been involved in her community. She was valedictorian of her school, president of the Native American Youth Empowerment group, and on the executive committee of UNITY (United National Indian Tribal Youth Organization). She had trouble in college after a traumatic family event and turned to drugs and alcohol, reports Marie Claire.
“It was the worst time of my life; I really thought I was going to die and I wanted to die,” Toledo told the magazine. She faced a turning point in 2012 when she “started to believe in my dreams and in myself again.”