Future looks bright for NACTEP graduates

Graduates of the Native American Career and Technical Education Program.

Article and photo by Jeannie Briones 

TULALIP, Washington – Nine students, surrounded by family, friends, instructors, and former students celebrated their graduation from the Native American Career and Technical Education Program (NACTEP) on December 6th at the Tulalip site. Through 12 weeks of hands-on training, students learned various skills in the construction industry, such as building frameworks and foundations, reading blueprints, electrical, plumbing, roofing and many other useful skills. In addition, students earned 18 credits at Edmonds Community College.

 “I learned how to frame stair jacks, the mechanics of how to do framing, laying out a foundation, and how to frame walls. I did a lot of cool and fun stuff,” said Tribal member, Rafael Madera. “It [NACTEP] opened me up to a new group of people and it boosted my self confidence.”       

One of the perks to learning new skills sets, is students get to create their own projects, which many view as a highlight to the program.

 “I like the personal projects. I made a couple of coffee tables, I gave one to my uncle and my mom,” said Tulalip Tribal member Mathew Crawford.

“My favorite part was my personal project. I didn’t know I was able to do this until they taught me how to use all the tools,” said Yakima Tribal member Vernon Ketchan, who describes his latest work as a surreal chief of nature coat rack sculpture. “I gained a craftsman’s eye, everywhere I go I can see how things are put to together.”

Vernon declared that this program is a good place for people with tough backgrounds to have a new direction and a positive focus. He enjoyed the experience and feels everyone in his class are like a brother to him.

 Former student Morgan Dotson, a Cherokee tribal member, spoke at the graduation, sharing how the program changed his life. He credits Instructor Mark Newland, Administrative Assistant Wendy Thompson, and NACTEP Director Maureen Hoban as the positive role models and educators that helped him succeed. In addition to NACTEP, Morgan is an honor student at Everett Community College, where he is earning an associates degree.

“Mark, Wendy, and Maureen, have helped save my life, honestly. I have never met people with so much passion. Wendy and Mark love what they do and they give everything that they have to these kids. Mark pushed me and he didn’t take no for an answer and he didn’t put up with excuses. Something in me just changed and I grabbed onto their coat tails and pulled myself through this program,” said Morgan. “This program is a success story.”

NACTEP classes are open to Tulalip tribal members, tribal members enrolled in a federally recognized tribe, parents, and spouses of enrolled Tulalip tribal members, and employees of the Tulalip Tribes and starts January 2, 2013. The training runs for 12 weeks, Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. For more information about NACTEP, please contact Mark Newland at 425-268-9145.


Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulalilpbribes-nsn.gov

Kids rockin’ new technology at Tulalip Boys & Girls Club

Tribal member Marissa Joseph jams a tune at the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club.

 Article and photo by Jeannie Briones

 TULALIP, Washington- Tribal member Marissa Joseph plays a tune at the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club during the unveiling of a New Immersion and Tech Center on November 7th. The Immersion Center includes a program room, a music and a recording room, and the immersion room. With this new technology, kids learns are developing new skills and expanding their minds. For more information about the Tulalip Boys & Girls Club new Immersion Center visit www.bgclub.tulalipbribes-nsn.gov 


 Jeannie Briones: 360-716-4188; jbriones@tulalipbriones@tulalipbribes-nsn.gov