Tucson, Arizona | Published: http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/byauthor/290169
Ha:san Preparatory and Leadership School
Adina Jose's career goals are set. The 18-year-old wants to become a registered nurse, eventually working in trauma care. After she gains some experience in that, she would like to join the Air Force as a medic.
And later in life, she wants to return to her Tohono O'odham community and work as a nurse with the Indian Health Service.
"I just like to help people," she says.
After her sister was born a couple of summers ago, her mom, Melissa Scott, required surgery and was unable to care for the new baby. So Jose took over.
And when her grandmother had knee-replacement surgery, it was Jose who helped care for her.
Jose's high school years have been filled with community service, athletics and purpose.
She has played volleyball four years and been team captain two years. She also has played basketball, served as class vice president for three years and sung with the school's traditional Tohono O'odham Singers three years.
Her service activities include volunteering with LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) and helping to build a wato — a ramada made of ocotillo branches — and an adobe outdoor oven for her school.
She also has helped harvest bear grass (used in traditional Tohono O'odham baskets) and with planting ceremonies. Plus, she is learning the language of her people.
While Jose has the support of her family and friends, money has been tight for the family.
Her mom was unable to work while recovering from her surgery, and then her dad was laid off.
Through it all, Jose has maintained a good attitude, says Ha:san student services director Anne Skvarek, who also teaches English.
"She always keeps a good mood," Skvarek said. "She's a very motivated and determined young person … definitely a leader. The other students look up to her."
Things have improved for the family, and her father now has a job — but in Sells.
Jose has no complaints, but she does have dreams: "To have enough money to pay for college and not have to worry about where the money was coming from."
Through all that she has done and does, she has learned two things about herself:
The first: "When I see people that need help, I want to help them."
The second: "I am a very independent person. When I see things that have to be done, I don't wait to do them.
"In school, I don't let the details go; I take care of them."
And, in so doing, she has taken care of the big picture. She will enter the University of Arizona this fall as a freshman.Photos by Jill Torrance / Arizona Daily Star