The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

     The Navajo Nation

Office of the President

President Nygren reminds students of the rewards of joy and happiness

CHINLE, Ariz. — Joy and happiness. 

Changing his major to construction management brought him those two emotions that helped revitalize his enthusiasm to not give up on his college education. 

As the Chinle High School graduating class of 2023 sat listening, Navajo Nation President Buu Nygren continued with his message. 

“As long as you know you have a path and a direction to continue to move on and know that you’re going to accomplish something fantastic,” said the President. “That’s all that matters.”

President Nygren said when he started searching for what career he could pursue, he came across aerospace engineering or aeronautical engineering. 

“When I was leaving high school, I chose aerospace engineering or aeronautical engineering because I read somewhere on the internet that it makes the most money,” he told the students. 

The president attributes his frugal upbringing and not having running water or electricity influenced why he chose aerospace engineering and aeronautical engineering as career choices. 

“Then I said, ‘I’m choosing them for the wrong reasons,’ because I grew up with no money and no resources. So, I was trying to strive for something that thought that would help me in those areas.”

President Nygren began realizing the choice he made was not the right one because he wasn’t feeling happy. 

“I’m not an arrow aerospace engineer, I’m not an aeronautical engineer,” he shared. “I quickly found out that that doesn’t bring joy and happiness to my heart.”

One day he was walking to his class and he noticed the construction management school. At the time, he was questioning if college was for him. He decided he’d go in and take a look since he had been going home and helping his uncle build homes. 

“I said to myself, ‘Even I could get a degree in construction, and always doing construction on the weekends. Why don’t I just pursue that?’” He said. ‘So, the minute I changed my major to construction management, my grades just skyrocketed.”

Nygren added that teachers and family only want the best for them. 

“Be thankful for your family and think for your teachers. They love you; they want the best for you; they support you,” said the president. “They really want you to be the single most successful person that you can be. So always be very appreciative of that.”

Chinle High School will have their graduation on Saturday, May 13.

As part of a three-month tour of high schools across Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, President  Nygren continues to meet with student councils, school administrators, counselors, and the Navajo Nation Office of Financial Assistance and Scholarships to improve access to resources and information for all students.