[UCLA Newsroom] Native American siblings stop at nothing to graduate from UCLA and lift their community

By Rebecca Kendall
June 11, 2018

The crest of Hot Springs Mountain is not a place many people will ever stand. Its breathtaking view of northeastern San Diego County at more than 6,500 feet above sea level is only accessible through the remote Los Coyotes Indian Reservation — and even then it’s a slow-moving bumpy and narrow, six-mile ride that winds its way throughout the reservation’s mountainous terrain.

On a late afternoon in early spring, David Streamer, who graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in American Indian Studies in 2016 and will graduate from UCLA on June 15 with a master’s degree in the same field, is at the wheel of his family’s four-wheel-drive truck. His sister, Minda, a UCLA senior, and brother, Daniel, a UCLA sophomore, ride with him up front.

“I love going to the top of the mountain," said Minda, who will earn her bachelor’s degree in American Indian Studies this week and begin a master’s in social work program at the University of Chicago in the fall. “We have a lot of memories up there. It’s just really beautiful, getting to see the entire reservation and beyond.”

As the truck jostles from side to side negotiating the turns on the rocky unlevel path, David quips that although this leg of the journey might feel jarring to someone who has never taken it, it’s about to get a whole lot rougher. David’s astute driving skills later guide the vehicle between two fallen tree trunks and around the large construction vehicle stuck in the middle of the path.

Obstacles and adversity have never stopped these three first-generation college students. They’ve only served to make the siblings stronger and the family prouder.

“I don’t like when people make excuses,” said David, who ultimately wants to work in the field of law. “If you want something you work and get it.”

Read the full article at http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/native-american-siblings-at-ucla

 

Posted August 3, 2017, 9:57 AM PST