July 30, 2009

Udall Welcomes Crystal, N.M. Native to D.C. for Internship

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall has welcomed Nicole Johnny, a Crystal, N.M., native to his Washington, D.C., office for a summer internship.

While in Washington, Johnny, a member of the Navajo Nation, will be focused on issues affecting Native American communities.

"Nicole will be a great asset to the team here in D.C.," said Udall, a member of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. "Her firsthand experience with tribal issues will be invaluable to the work I do to improve the lives of all tribal communities in New Mexico and across the country."

Johnny is a business marketing major at Azusa Pacific University in California and a Gates Millennium Scholar. She serves as a member of the Multi-ethnic Leadership Scholars and also volunteers as a mentor to younger members of the Los Angeles community in an effort to inspire them to seek a more fulfilling life through the opportunities that higher education can provide.

"During my time with Senator Udall's office, I would like to gain an inside perspective on the interaction between members of Congress and their constituents, especially in regards to their relationships with tribal governments, including the Navajo Nation," said Johnny.

Johnny's experience in Washington, D.C., was made possible with a sponsorship from the Navajo tribal government.

In the future, she would like to combine her business education with the legislative experience she gained in Washington to create new fair trade agreements on Navajo lands to aid in the improvement of the tribal economy.

Johnny graduated from Rehoboth Christian School in Rehoboth, N.M. as the salutatorian in 2008. She is the daughter of Karen and Vincent Johnny.