Writing her own future
|Tashina Guzman (left) started as a young jingle dancer like her mother, then switched to become a fancy shawl dancer. Tashina displayed her talent and beautiful costume during a PEOPLE drumming workshop on campus over the summer.|
Tashina Guzman, Sophomore, Menominee Indian High School
When one of her older brothers left home several years ago, Tashina Guzman found it easier to communicate her feelings to him on paper. And so began a book of poems from the heart of a young girl in the Menominee Nation.
Tashina’s most recent work was completed in the Writing Workshop taught on the UW campus this summer by Laura Busse. “We quickly learned that words are precious and sometimes difficult to find, especially when they are deeply personal,” Busse said.
Tashina agreed, but still finds personal narrative writing the easiest way to express herself. “I love writing poetry. What can be hard to explain in words, comes out easier on paper. I’m like my mom that way,” she said in a telephone interview after homework and sports practice one evening.
Tashina joined PEOPLE last summer, one of several top students at Menominee Indian High School invited to attend the three-week residential program that includes math and writing skills development; ACT preparation; workshops in the biological and physical sciences, engineering, biomedical research and health sciences; and an evening curriculum in the fine and performing arts.
Tashina has two older brothers and has always been active in sports, including volleyball, basketball and softball. At Menominee Indian High School in Keshena, she is a sophomore on the student council and likes to hang out with friend Romaine Waupoose, who is in the program.
“What I really enjoy is civics class with Kenny Molzahn. He inspires me to go far places in life,” Tashina said. Coming to Madison with PEOPLE was a first step in that direction.
“It was scary at first and a long time to be away from home,” she said. With encouragement from her family and friends she saw the opportunity as a way to accomplish her goals.
“I was overjoyed,” said her mother Ronnan Guzman. “I’m hoping she will end up going to UW-Madison. She is smart enough. But ultimately it’s her decision whether to make this work for her.”
“At first it [Madison] was big even though I’ve been to big cities and Pow Wows before. It helped to meet people, though” she said, mentioning her roommate Clintel Hasan from Milwaukee. “It felt like I was out in adult life.”
Trying knew things One of her favorite activities this summer was the crime scene investigation class where participants learned to think like investigators as they studied forensic science and microbiology. Her father, Jaime Guzman, is a police officer and she is considering going into the field herself someday.
Writing is her real passion however. Writing and the beauty of the Menominee land in northeastern Wisconsin that she calls home. “I see different things than the kids in Madison. Not so many stores, but lots of trees and lakes. My favorite place is the Wolf River. It’s a beautiful place and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”
- ABOUT US
- LEARN MORE
- PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
- PEOPLE Prep
- Middle School
- High School
- College Scholars
- Summer Workshops
- PEOPLE in the News
- Our Supporters
- Contact us
- PHILANTHROPIC OPPORTUNITIES
- To make a gift
- For more