Name: Cherrise Reyes
Tribe: Enrolled Upper Skagit, descendant of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation
Hometown: Pullman, WA
Degree received from WSU: Bachelor’s in Political Science, Pre-Law with a minor in Criminal Justice
Why did you choose WSU? I was unhappy at CSU Sacramento where I spent my first year of college. I toured the WSU Pullman campus after my first semester at CSUS and fell in love with it…It was during my tour (led by my mother) that I realized that WSU was the school for me. I felt like WSU could offer me the real college experience.
What did you enjoy most about being a WSU student? The free food!! Lol and all of the university-sponsored events such as Coug Fest, the football and basketball games, and speakers such as Walter Echo-Hawk and Kemba Smith. I also enjoyed all of the events put on by the Native American Student Center: the community dinners, cultural workshops, and of course, the round dance and Pah-Loots-Puu powwow.
What activities/programs were you involved with while at WSU? The Tribal Nation Building Leadership Program, the University Conduct Board, Coalition for Women Students, Native American Women’s Association, Mitamitaga O Samoa, and the Interest Group of Alpha Pi Omega Sorority, Inc.
Did any particular WSU program make an impact in your success as a student? Native programming as a whole!! Both the Native Programs staff and ladies of NAWA helped to mentor me and guide me in the right direction. Without their support, I would have had a much more difficult time navigating my way through college life. Working in the Women’s Resource Center also helped me to enhance my leadership skills and professional development.
What was your biggest challenge to achieving your education and how did you overcome it? Having a course where I basically had to teach myself the material, but I managed and I passed!
What are your future plans? I plan to take about a year off before law school so that I can work and prepare. I am also hoping to intern again next summer!
What advice would you give a freshman? Get involved, find your people/mentors, and take advantage of all the opportunities that are offered to you! You never know where they might lead you.