We’re honored and excited to introduce you to LuAnn, our Communications Intern who is with us for the summer. LuAnn recently graduated from Leech Lake Tribal College and will be entering into the Communications Program at Bemidji State University this fall.
What does a vibrant rural community look like to you?
A vibrant rural community is a healthy, resilient community that takes a little piece of everyone in that community to make it thrive. Being vibrant means making goals for the community as a whole and working together to achieve these goals. When I came to The Blandin Foundation, I was shown the 9 Dimensions of a Healthy Community and saw how wonderful these pieces all fit together.
What can’t you live without?
Nibi-water is life! If you see me you will see that I carry my water bottle around with me everywhere I go because it’s extremely important to stay hydrated! I also can’t live without daily, meaningful conversations with my kids. We have the best conversations about anything under the sun, in today’s world where many of us are consumed by our cell phones or wrapped up with how busy life can get, it’s so important to get home and be present with your loved ones. Spending quality time together talking and making meaningful connections is vital for our spirit.
What is your proudest moment?
I recently graduated from Leech Lake Tribal College after deciding to go to back to school later in life. I am considered a “non-traditional student” and although it’s been a challenge to get my degree at my age, I persevered and graduated with honors. I want my children to see that the role model they need is right in front of them and I will continue to do my best to make them proud. It’s so important to show your children how to love yourself, I am proud to be an Anishinaabe woman and I’m proud of where I come from. Nawagizhigook nindizhinikaaz, Makwa nindoodem, Gaa oziskwaajimekaag nindoojibaa; I am Middle of the Sky Woman, I am Bear Clan and I am from Leech Lake Reservation.
I am now pursuing my Communications Degree at Bemidji State University. Seconds before I was ready to receive my diploma I had overflow of emotions rushing through me, thinking of all I had overcome just to be in that moment. Tears of joy were rolling down the sides of my cheeks as I could see my kids looking at me with their big, brown eyes–so happy and loving. It was by far one of the proudest moments in my life.
How did you get into your line of work?
I applied for the Communications Internship after reading the announcement in an e-mail through Leech Lake Tribal College. Having already deciding on my major, I jumped at the opportunity to gain all the skills and knowledge I knew the Communications Team at the Blandin Foundation would provide me. The day I received my internship offer was an awesome day! I was having a challenging work day and in the moment I was asking the universe to deliver me a sign and I saw my phone light up and there appeared Shari Undeland–Blandin Foundation! I answered very calmly, I mean it could have went either way, and she gave me the great news and here I am today!