Our Board of Directors
Molly is a co-founder and Executive Director of Pollen Circles, Inc. She has over 20 years experience working with youth, families and the environment, primarily in and around the Navajo Nation. She is the mother of three children: two sons and one daughter.
Her background also includes museum curation, writing, editing, managing foundational grants, performance and fine arts, photography, wilderness skills, and traditional Indigenous knowledge and skills. She is a college professor and holds a PhD in Sustainability Education/Indigenous Studies, and a M.A. in Adventure Education/Indigenous Studies. Molly is an alumnus of Prescott College, the University of Arizona, and the Institute of American Indian Arts.
Kendall Ramirez (Mexica-Maya)
Pollen Circles, Inc. Board of Directors – Treasurer
Kendall was raised in southern California and has lived in the Gallup-Window Rock area for over 25 years. She is the mother of three young adults, who have enriched her life beyond measure. Kendall has a B.S. in Biology from Humboldt State University, received her teaching license in special education from Western New Mexico University-Gallup, and is a master’s student with University of New Mexico Native American Studies Department. She has over 20 years of teaching experience, from preschool through college level. Kendall enjoys working with adolescents who are experiencing emotional or behavioral disorders; her favorite subjects are math, biology, and natural resources. She currently teaches high school science within the McKinley County school system. Other experiences include teaching in adolescent treatment centers, coastal resource management, US EPA Superfund, gallery/retreat/cultural education coordinator, and assisting Traditional Practitioners. Kendall practices traditional Mexican medicine and is given the title of Curandera.
Brooke Smith (Diné-Navajo)
Pollen Circles, Inc. Board of Directors – Secretary
Brooke Smith is Diné, originally from Church Rock NM. Her Clans are Tótsohnii, Big Water, born for Tsi’naajinii, Black Streak Wood People. Brooke has been working with youth of the Navajo reservation, area Pueblo communities, and inner-city troubled youth for the past 20 years. Her focus is in behavioral and mental health wellness, with an extensive background in relaxation and meditation techniques and traditional and cultural recreational activities. Brooke has been involved in a variety of traditional arts and crafts, traditional and cultural cooking all of which have been utilized to teach and share with patients and colleagues. Brooke has received and holds certifications in first aid and CPR, mental health first aid, nutrition. She has had her share of certifications such as ropes course trainer, within the high and low initiatives courses. Other certifications include, team building and group problem solving certifications through project adventure and mobile team challenge. Overall, Brooke’s focus, and drive is working and teaching adolescents new and practiced life solutions and reiterating those same solutions to adults in a focused goal centered life map.
Vicky is an original resident of Deer Springs, southwest of Sawmill, AZ, where she lives with her three children: Ty and Mikki (Window Rock High School students) and Jordan (Tsehootsooi Middle School). She also has two adult daughters. Her eldest daughter is married with two children and is a horticulturalist in Canada. Her second eldest daughter lives in Seattle with her little daughter. Currently, Vicky has her 24/7 job of motherhood at home, at which she also oversees and cares for three horses and three dogs.
The subject of psychology has appealed to Vicky, especially after her children were born. She has studied the social and behavioral sciences at Diné College. All of these disciplines correlate to her persistence of teaching children and grandchildren about social issues (locally and globally). Her intention is to stimulate their humanitarian and emotional intelligence “that they constantly need to balance with the I.Q”., and hopefully they will be moved to contribute, empathetically, of themselves.
Debbie attended Northern Arizona University where she received her master’s degree in Public Administration, with emphasis on Native American History and Law. Debbie is a mother of six children, two of which are adopted and is a grandmother of three children. She managed a home health business in our community which hired community members to provide home care to elders in the elder’s home, rather than having to send the elder to a nursing home. Debbie is also passionate about addressing issues concerning racism, sexism, and homophobia and worked on the 1994 documentary film The Color of Fear and the 2003 documentary film Last Chance for Eden. She would like to do more with young people in addressing these damaging issues.