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Meet Nicole Rojas of Northern Southern Winds Cultural Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Rojas.

Nicole, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Wow! My story well I have always begin my story at the age of three years old when my parents (Mom was 19 when she had me) divorced, my mom left me with my grandmother a lot, so much so that I believed my bond of love came from my grandmother and not so much my mom. At the age of five, my grandmother was shot and killed in front of me and of course, that changed my life forever. My mother was the oldest of ten and had no time to slow down or help me heal when she was in pain herself and pregnant again with my step father’s baby.

From that point on I had to learn how to stand up for myself and make it in a big family where everyone was in pain. A lot followed in my family like abuse, molestation, drug abuse and neglect. My teen years and my young adult life continued to be filled with challenges and pain. Till one day I was an East L.A. College taking a Chicano Studies Class with who later became my mentor Frank Gutierrez and he not only taught me about my Culture and introduced mine to a spiritual road. I first got really involved in the political struggles of our community and then later the healing.

I finished college got my bachelor’s in Human Development 2008, but I was already working in the field of Gang Intervention. I have been doing social justice work for about 25 years now and 18 years with working and understanding the work with an indigenous perspective. During that time Northern Southern winds was Created to help the community stay linked to Native festival’s and ceremony and continues to do so to this day but N.S.W. C.F. has also grown to make space for Trans-formative Justice and Healing with the “Healing Community Conference” and the cultural exchange that happens with youth from the inner city to reservations in south Dakota. This is definitely the short version.

Really sorry to hear about your grandmother – what a traumatic experience to have at such a young age. It’s inspiring to see how you haven’t allowed the adversity you’ve faced to hold you back.  Looking back, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Not at all, during that time I married and had three beautiful children of my own and maintaining a job, school, family and community work was NOT easy. at this point, I hadn’t faced all my issues from my childhood. It was when I got divorced after 11 years of marriage that my true healing began.

I started a master’s program in marriage family therapy and I was truly shaking from the core of who I was and into who I am. I believe it was a five-year process, but I was open and willing to understand my pain and learn and accept my Journey of Healing.

We’d love to hear more about your organization.
Northern Southern Winds Cultural Foundation is a 501c3 and we specialize in Healing with and Cultural emphasizes. We are certified Community Intervention Specialists. Our focus is developing programs that provide positive results. We believe that our communities are sacred circles that need mending and our approach is according to the teachings of our ancestral forefathers and mothers. They understood a healthier way of life that our communities have now forgotten. We must empower ourselves and bring balance to our people’s conditions. The children are a reflection of our community.

The NSWCF was developed out of needs from the inner-city communities in hopes to help close the gap between the people and the cultural understanding that it has been misplaced. The cultural foundation believes that in order to create a better community and healthier community, one must relearn the old ways and traditions while preparing for a positive new future.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Of course, No one ever does it completely alone even though they would like to think they do. I have had different people support me and different times and if it wasn’t for those people who love me and I Love them I wouldn’t be where I am at right now if it wasn’t for them. It true when they say it takes a village to raise a child and it also takes a village to support a leader in the community. It takes people believing in you! People who remind you of your life purpose and that does not come just from one person.

Contact Info:

  • Website: nswcf.org
  • Phone: 3234744600
  • Email: nswcfoundation@gmail.com
  • Instagram: no_so_winds_cultural_foundation
  • Facebook: Northern Southern Winds Cultural Foundation

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