Jonathon Tafoya is from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico and graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in sociology in 2010. He now works for the State of New Mexico Indian Affairs Department as the Policy and Government Relations Director. Before working in his current position, Jonathon worked in schools and in tribal programs for 13 years. Jonathan was inspired by, "Living in New Mexico majority of my life and seeing some of the everyday struggles some of our communities' face. I wanted to be a helping hand and make sure our people have the resources and support to succeed in life."
While Jonathan was attending ENMU, he played on the Track and Field team which allowed him to travel and make, "awesome friends on and off the track, and we made a lot of great memories that we still joke about to this day." Being a student athlete was an important part of Jonathan's experience at Eastern. When he wasn't on the field or at track meets, Jonathan was studying at the Golden Library. While in school, Jonathan was awarded many different academic honors at ENMU; he was on the dean's list for all four years he attended college. His family and coaches helped remind him that he was, "a student-athlete, student always comes first". Overall Jonathon describes his time at Eastern as a great time and a way for him to have meet, "great people with ambitions to be successful in their fields."
Jonathon's current position as the Policy and Government Relation Director was something that Jonathon felt was an opportunity he could take to make a change in his state. Jonathon works with state and tribal governments to offer leadership trainings to tribes and nations. He looks forward to visiting the nations, tribes, and Pueblos throughout New Mexico and working with their leadership. "I am really excited to be a part of the Indian Affairs Department," Mr. Tafoya said. One of Jonathon's dreams is to start a non-profit organization in New Mexico. "Traditional ways have always taught me about reciprocity and giving back to the community and this one way I feel I can help my people of northern New Mexico," he explained. Jonathon gained an excellent education while attending ENMU and is able to give back to his community by working in a job where he can passionately serve.