Thu Dec 6th, 2018
Jeremy Wade Shockley
The Southern Ute Drum
The Tribe’s apprenticeship program seeks to train Southern Ute tribal members to fill roles of leadership and vison, within the tribal organization. Passing down knowledge from seasoned management to up and coming leaders through hands on, real world experience.
Southern Ute tribal member, Amber Boswell stepped into the role of apprentice on November 5, under the guidance of Southern Ute Education Department Director, LaTitia Taylor. Following two years of paid training under Taylor’s expertise, Boswell would assume the role of the director, overseeing day-to-day operations for the Tribe’s Education Department.
“We want to teach her and expose her to our programs, help her better understand our tribal government and how our department works within that,” explained Taylor. “Right now, she’s my right hand. I want to let her come into her own and give her own personality [to the role], try new ideas and take it to the next level — especially with the Southern Ute Montessori.”
The Southern Ute Education Department oversees three main programs: Higher education, Public education and Montessori education. While working primarily in Ignacio, the programs also collaborate with regional high schools such as Durango, and Bayfield, serving Southern Ute tribal members.
“It has always been a passion for me to get my education and come back and help my Tribe.” Boswell said. “I see this job as a way to advocate for the kids, to be a leader.”
Boswell sees one of the biggest challenges ahead, as being able to bridge the gap between education and employment. “One of my goals is to help make that more attainable — facilitate those dreams into a reality of employment.”
“I want to know what kids are interested in and connect that to the education opportunities,” emphasized Boswell. “To show that tribal members can leave and come back.”
One of the aspects that makes Boswell an ideal candidate for this position is her familiarity with the Southern Ute educational opportunities. She started young, taking advantage of summer youth employment programs and educational field trips. Southern Ute Higher Education helped her with scholarships to pursue educational opportunities right out of high school.
Boswell has a Bachelor’s degree from Missouri Valley College, where she double majored in Exercise Science and Athletic Training. She followed that with a Master’s degree from the University of Texas, earning her degree in Healthcare Administration.