Growing up I knew only one place as my home, Arizona. I am proud to identify myself with a people, the Navajo, who have inhabited the Arizona area for hundreds of years. Now, I find myself, the first of a generation that has adopted a modern way of living, yet is able to maintain traditions and cultures.
As a child, my parents and grandparents would tell me stories of struggles they experienced, as well as trials that generations prior to that of mine have endured. The morals of these stories were to display how fortunate I am to be receiving the education and resources that I have today. Now, more than ever, I realize that public education is, and has been, the key to my success. Not only has public education changed my life, but also it has changed the lives of people who are dear to me. My grandparents, although, only receiving a third grade education, incorporate the knowledge they acquired from those three years in their everyday lives. My parents, thanks to public education, have managed to work their way out of poverty, and are a large part of the community. It is amazing what an impact public education has had, and what it will continue to have on future generations. That is why it is vital to stress the importance of public education, and the opportunity it holds for the future of Arizona.
I have lived in Arizona all my life, and have essentially explored all of the state, and I find it difficult to consider solely one community as my home. I have traveled and experienced all the environment and cultures that embody the spirit of Arizona. Most of my summers were spent in Northern Arizona learning of my heritage. My family has always stressed how important it is to promote and keep traditions alive. Now, I understand why, Arizona is a unique state that derives its character from the growing metropolitan areas to the Southwest cultures. The Southwest cultures are a major part of what defines Arizona living, making it necessary to preserve living traditions, and the natural heritage of Arizona. What would Arizona be like if it did not have the Grand Canyon, or the White Mountains? The point is that Arizona is a beautiful state that combines the luxury of city life with the taste of a rural, organic lifestyle.
I am extremely thankful to be living in a state that allows me, as an individual, to broaden my horizons. By having Arizona as my home, opportunity has opened its doors, and has given me the gift to see all that this state has to offer. From our grand canyons to the pine country, and ancient monuments to the buildings that scrape our skies, Arizona has it all. It has developed from a barren desert, to a state that offers up the most to those who choose to call it home. This eclectic state has given me so much, a home, an education, and a chance to view the world from a point that most individuals do not get to witness on a day-to-day basis. This experience is rare, and can only happen in one place, and I am, both, proud and privileged to call it my home, Arizona.