by Shana Lombard, Communications Assistant
Anthony (Tony) Brave is settling into his new position as outreach coordinator after only being on the job for five months. Having come from another higher education institution, Brave said the transition was easy for him and he was eager to work directly with youth again.
Brave comes to WSU via The Evergreen State College where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses. He also taught classes at Northwest Indian College’s Nisqually site. Brave is a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe located in South Dakota. He earned his master’s in public administration with emphasis in tribal governance from The Evergreen State College.
Brave first realized he liked teaching and working with school-age youth when he took a huge leap across the pond and taught English in Korea, adding that he didn’t know teaching and working in schools was going to be a passion of his before that job. Brave notes that he does miss teaching so he is looking forward to spring semester because he gets to help teach a class in WSU’s Tribal Nation Building Leadership program.
Over the last few months, Brave has travelled all across Washington, Idaho, Oregon and Montana representing the university as well as Native American Programs by sharing with students what the university and higher education itself can offer them. Brave sees his job as a way to connect with Native American students and to tell them that higher education is for them. He feels that he picks up where schools may tend to leave Native American students behind.
“It’s been my experience that most schools tend to only give this kind of information to kids who are already successful students,” Brave said, adding, “I wasn’t one of those students growing up. Nobody had even talked to me about my opportunities for college growing up and I think a lot of Native students just don’t have that. There’s this sort of ‘why bother’ attitude that a lot of schools unfortunately end up having towards Native students. I want to counteract that big-time,” Brave said.
Brave hopes that events he plans help plant a seed in the minds of school-aged youth that higher education is possible. Events Brave organizes are the EXCEL camp for grades 11-12, the Native Youth Sports Summit for middle school and high school, and the NY’EHE summer camp for grades 9-10.
Other new things Brave would like to include is an 8-bit video style videogame that allows the students to explore Native American Programs. He has already created a mock-version of the Native American Student Center. He would also love to develop a mentorship program with local area tribes and pair college students with middle or high schoolers to be of guidance to them throughout their education, and as life happens throughout the years in between.
“I think mentoring is really a powerful tool to engage youth, to improve their lives and self-confidence, to show them that they can do it in life and higher education,” Brave said.