Nnee Bich’o Nii provides educational aid

Courtesy photo Instructor Saralyn Hooke was hired on in 2014 and has helped countless people obtain their high school diplomas or G.E.D.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for one day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. A phrase that best describes the services provided by the Nnee Bich’o Nii Program and all of the services they provide for their participants.

In addition to Apache Transit and the On-The-Job Training program, they also provide educational services through their own education program.

Often times, a participant would lack a high school diploma or G.E.D. In the summer of 2004, they began offering classes to help their participants obtain a diploma. In 2014, they established their own education program and hired an instructor, Mrs. Saralyn Hooke. For the past six years, they have helped countless people obtain their high school diplomas or G.E.D.

Saralyn takes a unique approach to teaching. She uses the Apache culture and language to connect with her students and to apply what they have learned in real world settings. A few of her students were older adults who had very little computer experience, so she began teaching a keyboarding class. This prepared the participants for submitting online applications.

Through their education program, Nnee Bich’o Nii has helped 21 participants to obtain their Arizona Driver’s License. Saralyn helped them to study for their written exams using computers made available by the program. 

Saralyn and Jonathan Duncan teach a three day session called World of Works. They teach the participants resume building, writing cover letters and budgeting 101. They also stress the importance of a strong work ethic, time management, communication skills and problem solving. Jonathan continues to follow-up with participants that attend this course, conducting mock interviews and providing the participant with constructive criticism and tips on how they can improve their interviewing skills. The next session will be held Jan. 14-16, 2020.

Nnee Bich’o Nii also focuses on the children in the program. They have been sponsoring a Summer Youth Program for the past three years. This eight week program teaches the students about planning for their future, showing them the world of opportunities that are available to them. They also learn about their Apache culture and heritage and language.  They are given tours of the local colleges, Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Saralyn continues to keep in contact with the students throughout the year, continuing to provide support and encouragement when needed.

Partnerships with other organizations is important when the objective of the program is to help people in need. Nnee Bich’o Nii’s education program has partnered with Liberty High School in Globe, Ariz. and San Carlos Alternative High School to help the participants earn their high school diploma or G.E.D. They have partnered with Apache Burger who provides the program with gift certificates used as incentives for the students. They have partnered with Arizona Youth Partnership in Globe, Ariz. that provide parenting and life skills classes through the San Carlos Healthcare Corporation. 

The education program is housed in the Gilson Wash Activity Center in San Carlos and have partnered with the Gilson Wash District and the San Carlos Apache College. The college donated 16 computers to the Gilson Wash District creating a computer lab at the Activity Center.

This computer lab is made available for the program’s participants to use.

Education is the key to success and the Nnee Bich’o Nii Team provides the encouragement and support for their participants to become self-sufficient and successful.

For more information on the Nnee Bich’o Nii Program and the services they provide, please contact their office in San Carlos at 928-475-5011 or in Bylas at 928-475-5023.

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