NCAP Intern - Student Affairs Project for Success Internship Program
Hello my name is Kimberly Jake and I am from Ramah, NM. I am in my third semester of my Business Administration BA program at Diné College. So how did I end up becoming an intern at the NCAP? I happened to see a Student Affair Project for Success Internship Program's flyer advertising for students hires. I figured I’d give it a shot and see what happens. I interviewed and after an unbearable wait for a call back, I received a phone call telling me I was hired. I was pretty excited because I had no knowledge of what the NCAP was, where it was located, or what
N - C - A - P stood for 😂
My first day with the NCAP, I got to meet Crystal Littleben, project coordinator, and Sheryl Benally, program assistant. Later on during the week I got to meet Dr. Christine M. Ami who is the Program Manager. Dr. Ami covered my duties, expectations, and let me know it was a learning environment - I didn't realize how learning it would become 😁. When were introducing ourselves to one another I learned that Sheryl started out as an intern as well and that made me feel even more comfortable. I knew that there was room to grown in the program. After my first week, I felt as if I could feed off all their positive energies and I have to say I am glad that Student Affairs Project for Success Internship Program had placed me with NCAP, which I now know stands for the Navajo Cultural Arts Program 😂. All in all I was ready to learn something new and be a part of this awesome team.
I want to go back to Dr. Ami's comment about being a hands on learning opportunity for a moment!
In my first week of being an intern I helped out with NCAP's First Fridays at DC Libraries. February's event “Ribbon Pillowcase Workshop” was in Shiprock, NM at the Sen. John Pinto Library, South campus at Diné College. I set up the sewing machines, laid out materials, fabric glue, scissors, ribbons, and irons, and greeted participants as they walked in. Sheryl had asked me if I wanted to join in. I was hesitant at first because I had never sewn in my life nor had I ever used a sewing machine. I was intimidated for sure! 😥 The participants there were experienced and had been sharing their stories of how they learned to sew and what they had created. I toughened up and got my materials together. To my surprise I did not think I had to pick matching colors; I just assumed it was just done randomly ... but it was not. You get to be the creator of how your masterpiece will turn out. It’s the little things that mattered to bring my pillow out.
After I cut out 18x18 material, it was time to tackle the sewing. Boy was I scared to use the sewing machine because I did not want to break it or mess up the threading. The workshop leader Andrea Sekayumptewa was very kind, helpful, and patience. And thats what I have taken from from this ribbon pillow workshop - PATIENCE and POSITIVITY. I learned that it takes you put a lot of patience and good thoughts and energy into work like this. I notice this when I first started you could see that I was in a rush and my sewing was a bit all over the place. I was getting annoyed with how it was turning out, but after I took a break than came back to my sewing I came back with a positive attitude and better energy. After that break I started to realize and notice that my sewing was becoming straighter and I was getting more acquainted and comfortable with the sewing machine.
Being a part of the “Ribbon Pillowcase Workshop” making was an awesome experience. I am pleased to say that I feel more comfortable with using a sewing machine. When I showed my family members my finished ribbon pillowcase, they were surprised that I had the patience to do it. They gave me compliments and started telling me they wanted me to start making other things such as a ribbon shirt or skirt. It is a great feeling knowing that I accomplished making a pillow cause because at first
I wasn't so sure what I had gotten myself into. I didn't want to mess up the pillow. I'm glad everything turned out great. Who knows... I just might invest in a sewing machine and make my own creations!
I am have lots of fun working with the NCAP and I am excited for our upcoming events in silversmith work, basket making, weaving, and moccasin making. I am looking forward to learning more about how traditional Navajo cultural arts intertwine with modern living, the stories, the teachings and also the skills of how one comes up with so many beautiful pieces.