Janice Tosa (M.A), President.
Janice’s role in the organization is to serve as lead consultant, she will lead the organization in partnering with communities who wish to implement RezRIDERS. She will provide leadership to the organization and provide direct technical assistance to communities.
Janice Tosa is from the Pueblo of Jemez, where she is a Research Associate within the Pueblo of Jemez Department of Education. She is an active participant in the cultural and traditional ways of life. She is a fluent Towa speaker, who believes in the importance of transmitting the language to younger generations. As a child growing up in the Pueblo, she was taught the importance of maintaining the traditions of the community, which happens to be running. In the Pueblo of Jemez running plays a vital role, as Jemez is known for their strong running tradition. Janice learned this early on and took her running to different levels as she grew older. Janice was awarded a running scholarship to the University of New Mexico, where she ran for four years as a NCAA Division-I athlete. Today, she recognizes the important role that running played in her life and the opportunities that were presented through her running career. It is through this experience she understands what being an athlete means for young Native American youth and the positive role sports plays in their lives. Being an athlete brings about positive traits in an individual, which include; pride, resilience, and self-determination. She believes firmly that with these traits one can overcome any obstacles that are thrown at them, and achieve their goals at the highest degree. Janice also truly believes in creating opportunities for young Native American youth to experience these experiences of life, and challenging them to create healthier lifestyles for themselves.
When RezRIDERS was first presented to Janice, it was only a theory; as the program had never been implemented. Janice worked with Greg Tafoya to launch this program in Jemez Pueblo. There were many things to consider before implementation of the program could begin. One concept that grew from this initial phase was the idea of creating a Tribal Research Team. The Tribal Research Team (TRT) served as mentors, and worked along side Janice and Greg to implement the program, with a goal of establishing oversight of all program research and extreme sport activities. Janice worked diligently to create a TRT that responded well to the program needs. It is through her leadership the TRT has flourished, and in the end created a mechanism that’s results with strong leaders for the future.