Alexis Davis, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in Belcourt, North Dakota, had never been out of her community or flown on a plane before she traveled to SRL’s Student Academy in 2016. Alexis is dedicated to teaching others about her culture, history and how to help her community prosper. One project she hopes to still complete with SRL: A virtual reality journey showing other teenagers the Turtle Mountain landscape and its traditions. We checked in with Alexis to find out how SRL inspired her to produce and share stories about her community.
What experiences or lessons do you value most from your time with SRL?
Being from a small town, SRL really showed me how big the world is. It taught me to always put my best foot forward and to not be afraid to ask for help. SRL also really helped me to broaden my networks. The other alumni and mentors we connected with at the summer academy are always the first people I call when I need help with anything. It’s truly amazing how each one is always happy to help!
What advice do you have for current SRL participants?
My advice for upcoming SRL participants: Expect the unexpected and think outside of the box, this world is yours! Being a student journalist really showed me how to look at both sides of any situation. When I went to Washington D.C., I didn’t know as much as the other students because we didn’t have a big journalism class in my community, but I definitely focused on my strengths and took notes from the tips and advice my fellows gave me.
How has being a student journalist helped you grow as an adult?
Being a student journalist teaches you how to know your strengths, be humble and accept your weaknesses while still loving yourself.
What are your plans after graduation?
I’m a freshman at Turtle Mountain Community College, getting my Associate of Arts degree. Eventually I hope to graduate with a Ph.D in History and a Masters in Ojibwe Language.
How do you think your experience with SRL will help you as you transition out of high school?
SRL really showed me how I can help to revitalize my culture using video storytelling and modern day technology.