Fielding Graduate University News

Fielding Graduate University alumna Esther S. Birtcher, EdD, published book: Building Bridges with At-Risk Native Youth

Posted by Hilary Edwards on Thu, Sep 06, 2012

Building BridgesFielding Graduate University alumna Esther S. Birtcher, EdD, published Building Bridges with At-Risk Native Youth.

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In her book, Esther describes: "education is the road to success in this modern world woven in multicultural society. The Rainbow of success can prevail with students who are struggling in education; they can learn to overcome barriers of life leading to success. Every child is precious; they are our future and can learn the cultural teachings that are valuable concepts to life."

Esther is an educator with a diverse cultural background who has lived both on and off the Navajo reservation. Her late father was from Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, and her late mother was from Red Mesa, Utah. She grew up in both areas, where she began her education at boarding school. Her early school years were a memorable experience, as extracurricular activities including basketball, volleyball, and track enhanced her academic pursuits. After high school in Utah, she attended Brigham Young University and graduated with a bachelor's degree. Esther returned to the Navajo Reservation and began her teaching career in Window Rock, Arizona. After some years of teaching, she earned a Master's Degree in Counseling from the University of Phoenix, followed by EdD in Educational Leadership earned at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, California. She still enjoys counseling the students in school, while teaching as an adjunct faculty member at Dine College and Northern Arizona University. Her career is painted with various life opportunities of teaching students academic skills and encouraging them to apply cultural skills and concepts to their daily life as they progress in education. 

"You have been given four things: Wisdom, Knowledge, Power, and Gift. These things that I am telling you may take years to digest in your minds before they begin to make sense. You must honor these four blessings by having good thoughts, good words, showing kindness to others. When you do this, you will begin to understand what I am talking about."
Wallace Black Elk, Sicangu Lakota Spiritual Elder

Tags: educational leadership, multicultural, adult learning, higher education, graduate education