"Journeys to the Past" for a Better Future

Name: Jacqueline Nunez

Current Status: Alumni

Graduation Year: 1996

Jacqueline Nunez (BS ’96) has dedicated her life to preserving and sharing her Acjachemen ancestral culture through the Native American tradition of oral storytelling. She has carved a unique niche that utilizes her many talents, including master storyteller, teacher, singer, director, writer, cultural consultant, and inspirational keynote speaker.

While studying Organizational Management at HIU, Jacque had a vision of aligning her Native American history with state curriculum for 3rd and 4th grade students. She debuted her “Journeys to the Past” experience in 1993 at the Mission San Juan Capistrano to an audience of 3rd graders and parents.

“So many children came to up me to say ‘thank you for teaching me about your people, I LOVED IT!,’” Jacque remembers. “I felt so blessed to be utilizing my God-given talents, my 13 years of classroom teaching experience, and my HIU education to bring to fruition my heart’s desire of sharing my culture with the world.”

“I am so grateful to HIU for a solid foundation upon which to build a successful business,” says Jacque. “The HIU courses helped me look at my business ideas with a critical eye, and I honed my presentation using the dynamics of speech and persuasion to pique my classmates’ interest. I graduated from Hope with a well-organized, well-investigated business plan, ready for launch!”

Her storytelling career has become somewhat of a story in itself; Jacque has performed at Disneyland, Los Angeles and Anaheim Convention Centers, hundreds of schools, libraries, non-profit entities and at several Southern California city events. She is one of the most requested artists from the Segerstrom Performing Art Center and has been a keynote speaker for U.C.I. Family Night Celebration, San Manuel Teacher In services for CNAD, Nevada State Educational Conference, Nevada Youth Conference, and Costa Mesa Historical Celebration including several spiritual events throughout the State of California.

Jacque has received awards from groups such as the OC Dept of Education, American Indian State Conference, Hall of Fame USA Congress, and many more. “I have been honored throughout my career, evidence that God birthed this in me, and He has led me all along the way.”

Recently, Jacque worked with the California Indian Cultural Center and Justice Center in Santa Rosa as a Cultural Consultant conducting In Services for teachers, assisting in the Youth Ambassador program, and creating 4th grade curriculum that integrates a more accurate history of California Indigenous people. She also serves as the Ambassador of Four Directions, a non-profit whose goal is  to create an engaging site where people can learn Indigenous knowledge and philosophy, and to help educators incorporate it into their curriculum.

While she continues storytelling at schools and large venues, Jacque recently taped and performed an original story for a PBS Children’s Television show. While creating her original story for PBS, she was inspired to create a new series of children’s books.

“Though in many instances I am asked to be a storyteller and workshop leader in a secular situation, I always bring God’s love with me and let my light shine,” Jacque shares. “When I hear someone say, ‘I just love Mrs. Nunez,’ I know they are sensing the love of Jesus inside of me. I’m a secret undercover agent for Jesus, and I love it!”

Jacque and her family reside in San Juan Capistrano, California.