Tag Archives: Sports

Charles Galbraith | From Dugout to White House

Charles Galbraith: “We’ve been conditioned to think that we have to compete with each other…which is not the case.”

Charles Galbraith is Navajo. Currently, Charles (aka Charlie) is Counsel at Kilpatrick Townsend Law Firm. Previously, Charlie spent several years working at the White House for President Obama and before that he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney and a staffer in the U.S. Senate.

Charlie grew up in Phoenix. His parents both prioritized education and so Charlie knew at a young age he’d go to college. He ended up playing baseball and studying at the University of Chicago.  

Charles Galbraith

Charles Galbraith, Navajo

His baseball playing taught him endurance and the knowledge that not everything would break his way in life. It taught him how to dig in for the long haul, and how to keep a cooler head when things weren’t going his way. These two lessons would suit him very well in his career.

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Jourdan Bennett-Begaye | Survival of the First Voices

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye is Navajo. She attends the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Jourdan is also one of the creators of the Survival of the First Voices Festival.

Jourdan grew up in Fruitland, NM. Sports played a big role in her life as a child. She played soccer and volleyball. One came naturally, as Jourdan’s mother was a volleyball coach. Soccer was completely foreign to her and her first practice she showed up in tennis shoes and denim shorts.

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye

Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, one of the creators of Survival of the First Voices Festival

Both experiences are great learning environments. In one, you have access to knowledge, mentors, and opportunity. In the other, you are in an environment unfamiliar to you, you are uncomfortable, you have to open yourself to learning and growth and being comfortable being uncomfortable. I think access to structure, mentors and resources, as well as discomfort are critical to development and success. People can succeed with one or the other, but combined experiences are really springs to success.



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Jourdan eventually focused on volleyball full time. She played club volleyball, traveled many hours each week to practices and tournaments. It even allowed her to travel to Australia, opening Jourdan up the world of travel. Continue reading

Michael Adams | Gourd Jewels | Hopi

Michael Adams is Hopi. He is also the the owner, along with his wife, of Gourd Jewels. The company is a jewelry business that sells online. We caught up just before Black Friday

Michael Adams

Michael Adams

Side Note: As the Holiday season begins, think about supporting businesses like Gourd Jewels and many other Native businesses. Gourd Jewels is having a black Friday sale, so check out their website for a discount.

One consistent theme from the conversation with Michael was his ability to analyze situations and make tough choices based on analysis and not emotion. For example, Michael attended Occidental College to play football. His goal was to make it to the NFL but after suffering an injury, he realized he should plan for something else in life.

Another example came while studying for a Ph.D. in psychology at Northern Arizona University. He realized his heart was not in it and that it was not worth the time, energy, and cost to pursue this career he thought may have been for the money. Continue reading