How a CNM Education Helped This Native Grad Advocate for Children in Her Community

Deja Kie-Lorenzo is using her passion for communication and psychology to help children across the Pueblo of Acoma
May 02, 2023

When Deja Kie-Lorenzo became a mom she worried college might be out of the picture. But then she found CNM and realized she could take online classes that fit her busy schedule.

Now Deja is set to graduate with associate degrees in both Communication and Psychology and wants to use her education to advocate for children at the Pueblo of Acoma where she grew up.

“Native children are our future, and I want to help give them everything I can,” Deja says. 

Looking back, Deja says it was CNM’s online classes that really opened the door. In addition to being a mom she also works full-time for the Pueblo of Acoma’s Department of Education and coaches seventh and eighth grade basketball. She needed the flexibility of taking classes on her own time.

“Taking online classes gave me the ability to continue to work, support my son, and stay involved as a basketball coach,” Deja explains. “Having classes that worked around my schedule was huge for me.” 

Her decision to study Communication and Psychology comes from her own experience growing up on the reservation and working for the Pueblo’s Department of Education. 

“I experienced first-hand some of the same struggles the kids on the reservation are experiencing now,” Deja says. “And as an employee for the Pueblo’s Department of Education, I know that there is such a need for mental and emotional support for the younger generation, and I want to be that support.”

Deja is proud of her accomplishments at CNM but says this is only the first step. She plans to earn both her bachelor’s and master’s degree and continue working in her community as an advocate for Native children.

She also has strong advice for people like her who might fear that attending college or pursuing their dream career might not be possible because of complicated logistics or other circumstances. 

“My advice is to follow your dreams, even if you think they’re unreasonable, because I’m here to tell you they’re not,” she says. “Don’t give up, even if you have to take an alternate route. I know that everyone can accomplish what they want, just like I have.”