Three weeks ago Amanda Tachine received a phone call from a blocked number.
“At first I thought it might have been a telemarketing call and so I hesitated for a second,” Tachine said. “But something inside told me, ‘Mandy, you’ve got to pick up this phone. It could be important.’”
It most certainly was. The call was from the White House. They wanted Tachine and her family to come to Washington, D.C., and pick up a national award.
Tachine, a postdoctoral scholar at ASU’s Center for Indian Education, will be one of 11 young women honored Sept. 15 as “Champions of Change” by the White House in the Office of the First Lady. In addition to honoring the group for empowering their communities, the goal of the event is to inspire girls and young women to recognize their potential for leadership as educators, advocates, artists and entrepreneurs.
Among her other efforts with Native students, Tachine’s work on a two-tiered college-access mentoring program caught the eye of those organizing the Washington event.
The program will feature remarks by Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor to the president and chair of the White House Council on Women and Girls; Tina Tchen, chief of staff to the first lady and executive director for the White House Council on Women and Girls; and NASA astronaut Serena Aunon. On hand will also be Tachine’s husband, her two children, her mother and her aunt.
“Amanda is a gift, and her work as a Champion of Change is fitting,” said Bryan McKinley Jones Brayboy, President’s Professor, director of the Center of Indian Education and ASU’s special adviser to the president on American Indian Affairs.
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