Nikki's Open Road
Fifth World Discoveries
If you've ever been on white water in a rapid, there's only one way through: down. I've broken my oar, I've flipped my boat--but I've made it out OK. That's my analogy for life.
- Grew up with her grandparents on a Navajo reservation with no running water or electricity.
- Her move to high school was hard; she was bullied and her grades suffered until she found softball.
- Found counselors who encouraged her to push herself and give college a try, just for a year.
- She finished her bachelor's and master's degrees in forestry at Northern Arizona University.
- Has worked all kinds of jobs, from sheep herder to McDonald's to Colorado River guide.
- Her first time rafting was also her first time on a boat and her first time in the Grand Canyon.
- She's now the first Navajo woman to get a Colorado River guide license.
- Says: Push yourself and listen to the people who tell you you're going to do great things.