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PHOTO: JOSEF KISSINGER

Holbrook Indian School

A Seventh-day Adventist Boarding Academy Serving Native American Youth Since 1946

Adrian Wiles: A Cycle-Breaker

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By Alyssa Williams

drian Wiles is a cycle-breaker. Because he is a young Native American, the statistics are not in favor of Adrian’s success. Nationwide, Native youth face some of the lowest graduation rates. Less than 50 percent graduate from high school and less than 10 percent graduate from college. Remarkably, Adrian has chosen not to let the circumstances of his childhood control the outcome of his aspirations. As a full-blood Navajo, he grew up on the reservation in northern Arizona. His mother, a single parent, faced many difficulties while raising and providing for her children. At times, Adrian would get locked out of his house and would have to sleep under the porch with the dogs in the cold weather. Family members introduced him to drugs and alcohol at a young age. Adrian’s future did not look promising. Things changed for Adrian when

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his aunt and uncle encouraged his mom to send him to Holbrook Indian School (HIS). They hoped that Adrian would live in a safer environment. Adrian reluctantly went to HIS in the third grade. At first, HIS just seemed like a place that was far away from home and everything that was familiar. He could not read and had no desire to learn. However, with time Adrian began to learn to trust adults again, something that had been long forgotten. His elementary teacher, Mrs. Daugherty,

planted within him an excitement for learning. His dean, Mr. Dordy, comforted him by saying that the staff was there to help him. Pastor Phil was a spiritual mentor and a reliable friend. HIS became the place where Adrian learned to read. The place where he realized his potential. The place that gave him hope for a better life. The place where he was introduced to God and was baptized. In Adrian’s words, “Holbrook Indian School is home.”

Profile for Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Pacific Union Recorder —May 2019  

The inspiration for this issue comes from the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the early church: "Love is patient and kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4);...

Pacific Union Recorder —May 2019  

The inspiration for this issue comes from the Apostle Paul’s teaching to the early church: "Love is patient and kind" (1 Corinthians 13:4);...