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Ronald Worst

Ronald Worst

Job Title: K-12 Special Education Teacher - Chemawa Indian School 

Tribal Affiliation: Yupik



1. Why did you choose the UO College of Education for your graduate studies?

The UO College of Education - Special Education Program was in the top 5 of the nation. I wanted a top tier education which I could use to benefit the future generations of those I would have in my classroom.

2. Tell us about why the Sapsik'ʷałá Program is important, from your perspective?

The Sapsik'ʷałá Program provides several important facets to Native recipients. The first aspect of support is through the financial coverage of tuition and a monthly living stipend. I would not have been able to attend graduate school without this support. My family relied on my income for our daily living. The choice to attend graduate school can put a large financial burden on the students through loans. This program relieves this stress from the student. The next aspect of support is through the community of other Sapsik'ʷałá beneficiaries and staff. This includes the meetings and gatherings. Having the emotional support from others through the highs and lows of the academic graduate work is invaluable. Another important function of the Sapsik'ʷałá Program is the link to Tribal communities. The future of our Tribal cultures depend on each new generation. Education is one of the pathways to continue the restoration and develop self-determination for all Native Peoples.

3. What advice do you have for future American Indian/Alaska Native educators?

Our Tribal communities are starving for certified Native teachers. It’s time to look toward the future as an opportunity to create a legacy. I’d like to share my personal motto which I return to often:

  • "Conduct yourself with honor for your values and do not judge others for their iniquity, but strive to be a foothold others can use to gain an edge in this fast paced world. We, as parents, friends and educators, have a responsibility to nurture others in a direction where they find enthusiasm to learn."