Shanoa Pinkham served a summer semester Washington Internship for Native Students in Washington, D.C. through American University School of Professional & Extended Studies. Pinkham interned at the Social Security Administration Press Office from June 1 to July 27.
The Washington Internships for Native Students (WINS) offers students of American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian nations the opportunity to build leadership and advocacy skills while living, studying, and interning in Washington, D.C. It was developed in response to the White House Initiative on American Indians and Alaska Natives, and offers qualified students full scholarships funded by American University and sponsoring organizations.
Students intern with Native advocacy and government agencies in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, health, economic, social service, law, and public policy disciplines. The experiential curriculum is designed to develop the student’s professional skills in self-determined community development and public advocacy.
Shanoa, whose Yakama name is “Shaleelah” (little girl), has been active with Seattle Clear Sky Native Youth Council since 2009. “She is a positive role model by tutoring, mentoring, and inspiring the youth to honor their education by graduating from high school and pursuing a higher education,” the council’s newsletter reported.
Shanoa is a 2013 University of Washington graduate and until recently was a co-project facilitator for the youth council. She was 2011 Miss Yakama Nation and 2011 Miss Indian Nations. She was a speaker at the youth council’s 2011 Rites of Passage ceremony honoring Native graduates.
“It’s an honor to stand up for and serve my Native community family,” she told the newsletter. “Remember to honor and respect the hardships of our ancestors, knowing that they are strong and resilient and that we all have that same strength to share with our Native people. The Creator blesses those who sacrifice for the good of others to succeed. I’m so glad SCNYC has given me the opportunity to continue this honor to serve my Native community.”