My name is Kenny John, I’m Santa Clara Pueblo and Navajo (Dine) on my father’s side from Hunter’s Point (Arizona) and from the Black Sheep clan. I am currently a mentor and Tribal Research Team member for the KhaPo RezRIDERS program in Santa Clara Pueblo (New Mexico) and in my third year with the program.
The experience of RezRIDERS has been just as challenging for me, as it’s been for the youth. Being a program mentor has made me aware that people watch everything I do in life, and it’s also taught me how to better connect with teenagers. One thing I’ve learned is that the tribal youth of today are dealing with challenge’s and pressure greater than what I grew up with, and I’ve learned how to offer them my support. Something else I’ve learned is to make eye contact and listen to youth very carefully, showing them the respect they deserve – and something that works both ways. By giving them my full attention I have learned how wise they are and what great ideas they have. When I was young my generation was told never to question adult’s and their role’s, but these adult role models are now missing, more and more in the lives of today’s youth. Through RezRIDERS I have been able to step into a role for tribal youth and serve the community we live in.
My other interests include my beloved sport of rugby, where I’m a 12-year veteran playing the loosehead prop position with the Santa Fe Rugby Football Club. I was the Utah state freestyle swimming record holder attending Bear River High School and love mountain biking and road cycling, where I particularly enjoying watching the Tour De France. I have participated in Santa Clara Pueblo cultural activities all my life, and continue to serve tribe’s in any way that I can.