Campus profile: Geneva Mayall, Native American College Prep Coordinator
Geneva Mayall works in the Diversity and Inclusion department as the Native American College Prep Coordinator at COCC. She works with high school students, specifically, helping with college essays and assisting Native American students navigate through college prep. Some programs she puts on include STRIVE, a Native American Summer program. STRIVE is COCC’s summer program for Native American high school students that introduces participants to the college experience through academic, leadership and cultural activities.
The Broadside: Where are you from originally?
Geneva Mayall: I am a Bend native. After high school, I moved to Reno, Nevada, where I got my undergraduate degree at Gonzaga University in Environmental Studies and Biology.
TB: What led you to the career you have now?
GM: When I went to college, my tribe gave me a great scholarship. I started digging and wanted to reconnect to my culture, which I didn’t know much about, sometimes its dead ends after colonialism. I wanted to talk to people. I started volunteering at an elementary school and fell in love with teaching. In 2018, I got a job in Bend at an environmental center as the youth education coordinator. I got the job as the Native American Coordinator not even a year ago.
TB: What are you most proud of accomplishing so far with your involvement at COCC?
GM: I am most proud of the connections with the students and the Native communities I have made. I wanted students to know that I am here for them and a resource for them. I love to help be the connection for native and nonnative communities; for them to learn and be a space for asking questions. It’s super important to reconnect people with their Native American culture. It’s never too late to reconnect and be proud of it.
TB: Describe a scene of your vision for your future at COCC.
GM: I am really focused on Warm Springs and Redmond and the Confederated Tribes there. I would like to expand more in Bend. I was a Native American high school student in Bend, and it’s important for the students to feel advocated for, and the expansion in Bend would help that.