Today, we are interviewing Christine Reidhead, a mother, author, podcaster, professor, and humanitarian. Christine serves her own nonprofit organization, AfrikRising, which provides critical resources to the children of Africa who face starvation, health disparities, and educational limitations.
1. For those who do not know you, please tell us about yourself.
I have two teenage boys at home. I work on the Navajo Nation and love the people. My initial impulse is to work. I can’t sit still and do nothing. I have to constantly be doing something. I always love having a project to work on, whether that’s writing a book, organizing a humanitarian project, or podcasting. I do just about most things that will challenge me and help make me a better person.
2. Why did you choose to write a book?
As a college professor, I saw the need of my students and felt this would help them learn and grow along the way. I also thought of my teenage boys who will soon be interviewing for jobs and thought they could use this as a guide to help them become more prepared.
3. How successful has your book become?
It was on the #1 Best Seller list for about three months. It just skyrocketed, which was pretty awesome. We’ve had some great feedback, and I’m glad people like it. It makes an effort all worthwhile when you can help someone along the way. That’s what life is all about.
4. What type of podcasts have you done?
Right now, the Tribal College Journal is publishing the Tribal College Movement Podcast each month for the next twelve months. That podcast is with Tom Davis, who is one of the founders of the tribal college movement. One of the other podcasts I’ve done is, Be The Change Nonprofit Podcast, where we talk with nonprofit organizations, and they get to tell their story. It’s very challenging running a nonprofit organization and make ends meet, yet it is so important. Another podcast I do with my brother Sheldon is called Sports Talk with Sheldon and Christine. A few upcoming podcasts are Leadership with Tom Davis, Arena Football Hall of Fame George LaFrance, and The Life Stories of Leland Barney.
5. What is your favorite quote?
Oh man, I love inspirational quotes. They motivate and inspire you to do better. It’s hard to pick just one. But today I’ll go with this one by Thomas A. Edison:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
I’m a hustler, and I work a lot, read a lot, and push myself all day, every day. I’ve had some success, but I’ve also had a lot of failures. I feel we learn so much from those failures, and they shape and mold us to be better.
6. What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning?
This sounds funny, but work does it for me. I always have a project going on. Once I get my rest, I’m ready to start at it the next day. Most days, I get several hours of work done on my personal projects before I go into work every day. You have to have that hustle mentality to seriously move and accomplish your dreams.
7. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, AfrikRising.
We started AfrikRising just over a year ago. I have some great friends in Africa who were wanting to make a difference, and we just bit the bullet and started the nonprofit organization. We have some big dreams. For example, we want to start up a trade school in Africa. It’s slow sometimes because of fundraising obstacles, but overall we are on the right path. We just need to be patient, and we believe things will work out. We have great teams in Nigeria, Ghana, and the United States. I feel very blessed to work with such great people.
8. How do you cope with the stress of tight deadlines?
I thrive off of pressure and meeting deadlines. I feel that is when I do my best work. I get a high out of work and pressure, similar to what I think someone would feel from jumping out of an airplane with a parachute. It’s fun for me.
9. What is it like living on the Navajo Reservation?
I love it! There are so many good people. I’ve worked at Navajo Technical University for over eight years now. I love teaching, and certainly like to see my students succeed. I’m excited about their future.
10. What type of advice could you offer others?
Just to accomplish your dreams and not to let anything or anyone hold you back. Life is all about challenges and how you fight through those challenges that make you stronger. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything. You can do anything you put your mind to.