After a divorce and a layoff from her defense-contracting job in Ft. Worth, Texas, Marjeanna (Comanche) decided to seek a college education to provide a better life for her two children. But after an illness, she had to postpone her dream of an education for seven years.
After her recovery, Marjeanna realized that she would need an education to further her career and serve as a leader in a Native community despite her professional achievements in management.
“There are far too few Native spokespersons for our people, and it is essential that we have representatives in the many intellectual and leadership opportunities offered,” Marjeanna says. “When I read [Vine DeLoria, Jr.'s] words that Native people had so much power but yet they often chose to ‘mill around like so much cattle' never realizing the greatness within them, it made me realize that I did not want to be in that category he identified.”
Marjeanna completed her second year at Haskell Indian Nations University in Kansas, where she was on the President's Honor Roll during her entire academic career. She developed and assisted a guided dialogue for students reflecting on their Native heritage titled “Native Circles" and spent a semester at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She earned straight As her entire academic career. She plans to earn a Ph.D.
She says, “Restitution and reciprocity are strong philosophies in my life. Giving back to the community in whatever ways possible is something that is second nature for me. I will actively seek ways to give back to my Comanche tribe and the greater Native community, both voluntarily and professionally.”