Anybody who’s ever been the new kid at school knows how difficult it can be. You wonder whether people will be welcoming, whether you’ll fit in, and whether you’ll make friends. I was asking myself all those questions when I moved from Arizona to Bountiful, Utah, as a high school sophomore.
I’m Navajo, and in Arizona there were always other Native American people in my community. Here, it was different: I was the only Native student at my new school.
In the third week of the school year, I attended my first pep assembly. These assemblies are meant to pump up sports teams before big games. As someone who hoped to play softball, I was excited to support the other athletes.
I walked into the gym, feeling the school spirit—and then the mascot walked out.
His name was the Brave Man, and my heart sank the moment I saw him.