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Here’s to Herrington

John Herrington is a wonderful man with a great story to show every Native child that they can make a difference and achieve their heart’s desire.

John and my father met at the Cape years ago and became fast friends. John took two flutes my father made to space with him and now one resides in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

I had the privilege to sit and talk to John, and his story is amazing. He flunked out of college the first time because he “just wanted to climb rocks.” He went to work as a climber for a land surveyor so he could climb rocks.

One evening he entered the hotel room of his foreman. The older man was sitting in a chair with his drink in his hand and asked John, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” And John said, “What are you talking about? I want to climb rocks!”

The old man told him he should further his education. He gave him examples of how he used math and science in his everyday life. This is part of what encouraged John to go back to school and the rest is history. John has made it his mission to encourage young people. Please post a link on your site so our people can encourage him on his journey.

– Alaura Gilliland Askins
Ardmore, Tenn.

Be sure to see ICT’s ’ 08 – 09’ Indian Country Education Today magazine featuring John Herrington’s innovative project. The magazine is out Sept. 10.