Momi Tolentino's Words of Wisdom

Shared in the June 8, 2020 NAP weekly newsletter

Momi Tolentino '20, Major in Sociology Modified with Anthropology

Though my time at Dartmouth was cut short, I am grateful for all the things I was able to experience during my college career. As a Native Hawaiian student, I found it hard to navigate Dartmouth when I first arrived. I became more and more involved in the native space as the years rolled on and I realized how comforting it was to see Native and Indigenous students making their mark and taking up space at an institution that is usually not accessible to us.

As I reflect back on my journey, I can point out so many instances where I was in complete awe of the other Native students on campus and their impact and presence. There were a few NADs that kept me grounded in who I was while at Dartmouth. Selena was my rock when we served together on the Alpha Phi executive board. Elsa radiated beauty everywhere she walked and instantly lit up my day when she'd tell me about her plans to work with Indigenous language revitalization for her tribe. Evan was just, you know, Evan. He gave some of the best hugs and the best advice and calmed me down whenever things felt like they were out of my control. Sophia was the girl I wanted to be friends with before coming to Dartmouth and she soon became one of my best friends. These are just SOME of the amazing peers that I've met during my time here and I am forever grateful not only for the lessons that they were able to teach me, but also for the lessons that they were ready to learn from me.

All in all, my Dartmouth experience and my life would be incomplete without these influential figures in my life and I thank the Native American Program for giving us a space to thrive. So I guess my words of advice would be, find your people and hold them close.