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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Chinle Students First From Rez to Receive FBLA Ranking
by Cindy Yurth - Tséyi' Bureau

Navajos are not exactly known as businesspeople. And yet, when you think about it, there are plenty of business folk on the rez: the jewelry crafters, the burrito vendors, the haymongers and, sadly, the bootleggers.

Some people think bigger, and the next generation may be booming with savvy young entrepreneurs.

Chinle High School juniors Tiffany Teller, Tex Carroll Jr. and Sharonna Yazzie recently became the first Diné students from a reservation school to be awarded the Future Pin by the Future Business Leaders of America.

The first in a series of ranks FBLA members can achieve, the award requires a daunting slate of activities, including writing essays, doing community service, fundraising for the FBLA's favorite charity, the March of Dimes, and promoting FBLA.

"It was a lot of work, but we were determined," said Teller, who is Bit'ahnii (Folded Arms Clan), born for Deeshchii'nii (Red Ridge Clan). She added they had a lot of encouragement from each other and their club sponsor, accounting teacher Serena Jimmy.

"They're the first! I'm very proud of them," said Chinle High FBLA President Taylor Silversmith, who ironically does not have her own pin yet (but she's darned close).

Eventually, Teller wants to become a forensic accountant and bust white-collar criminals. Carroll, who is Kinyaa'áanii (Towering House Clan), born for Táchii'nii (Red Running into Water Clan), wants to open his own dental office, and Yazzie, Ma'ii Deeshgiizhnii (Coyote Pass Clan), born for Naakaii Dine'é (Mexican People Clan), is leaning toward something in the sports field.

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