My road in life has been direct.
Grew up with high rates of poverty, alcoholism on the reservation.
He loved his home, but was "scared of it"; saw multiple friends die from alcohol-related accidents.
Knew schooling could be his way out; was the first person from his family to graduate from college.
Made it a point to "hang out with everybody" at school, learn about as many different cultures he could, educate others on his background.
Got a degree in political science because he knew he "always wanted to help his people advance to the next step."
Was sent to Washington D.C. to work for a nonprofit that advocated for Native Americans on the hill.
Realized that the "work" needed to be done back home; D.C. was a bit out of touch from the reservations.
Came back and was elected to tribal council, chosen for chairman three years later.