In honor of Native American Heritage month we are recognizing some of the exceptional Native American students at the College of Pharmacy.
Name: Rolonda Slim
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences
Graduation year: May 2022
Tribal affiliation: Navajo/ Diné
Q: Do you have any role models that inspire you - at the college or in general?
My biggest role model in my life is my mom. My mom inspires me to be the best version of myself. Whether I fall down or feel like giving up, my mom is always there for me; to guide me, to motivate me, and to comfort me. My mom is the strongest independent person I know, and I envy her for that. She inspires me to do better each and every day. She is my role model because I idolize her for getting through all the barriers life has thrown her way.
Q: Have you experienced any challenges in school? How did you overcome them?
Like any other college student, I have experienced multiple challenges while in school. How I was able to overcome them took some time. It was a learning process that kept pushing me to give up. However, I’m glad I have not. Each challenge that I faced, I had to figure out a solution. I figured it out by learning to be adaptable, facing the challenge head on, and working with what I had to find a solution. It helped me to be open minded about learning different ways to improveand grow. Having different perspectives also allowed me to see each challenge as an opportunity to learn.
Q: What does being Native American mean to you?
To me, being Native American means that I come from a long line of empowering individuals who are proud of their culture, language, traditions, and teachings. It also means that my identity comes from strength, resilience, and a long history that not many people know about. Being Native American means that, no matter how hard U.S. society tries to erase and cover up the true history of the United States, we, as Native Americans, will continue to be resilient and proud of who we are and where we come from.
Q: Has being Native American influenced the way you approach your studies or research?
Being Native American at the University of Arizona has influenced my education by motivating me more to work towards a college degree that not many Native Americans have the opportunity to do. Native Americans make up the lowest percentage of the college student population when it comes to college attendance and college graduation. With that in mind, I feel that every Native American student at Arizona, or any college in general, is an example to other Native Americans that a college education is possible.
Q: What are your goals for after graduation?
My goals after graduation are to apply and get accepted into pharmacy school for the Fall 2023 school year. I hope to get accepted to Midwestern University for pharmacy school to further my education in pharmacy. I am planning to work toward a PharmD to become a pharmacist for Native reservations.
Story by: Gracie Lordi