19th Ave New York, NY 95822, USA

Employee brings tech to reservation, culture to her store

October 12 is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a holiday that celebrates Indigenous peoples and commemorates their histories and cultures. In honor of that, we are highlighting one employee’s story.

Saraphina Scott is going places at Best Buy. And the 23-year-old is proudly sharing her Diné (Navajo) culture each step of the way.

She started at Best Buy in a seasonal role five years ago and most recently was promoted to a supervisor position at the store in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is the only Diné employee.

She has no intention of slowing down her career development, and neither do her Best Buy leaders, who saw her potential early on and nurtured her growth.

“They gave me opportunities to flex my leadership muscles, and I had plenty of great mentors who I still reach out to this day,” she said.

Ben Gomez, a general manager in Albuquerque, is one of those leaders, and it didn’t take long for him to see what makes Saraphina stand out.  

“What sets her apart is the same passion she has for her heritage and culture she brings to Best Buy,” he said. “When I see how she brings her whole self into work and how she impacts others, it’s truly impressive.”

Spreading knowledge

Saraphina didn’t know a lot about tech when she started at Best Buy. There wasn’t much access to it in parts of the reservation she grew up on in Shiprock, New Mexico.

But that’s exactly why she took a seasonal job at the closest store, 45 minutes away, in Farmington.

“I thought, ‘Perfect. I can learn as much as I can and take that knowledge to my family and help them out,’” she said. “Knowing that I could learn about tech is what attracted me to the job.”

While Saraphina had electricity, running water and internet growing up, many in her community did not. Seeing that need at an early age taught her to appreciate things — and contributed to her hunger for knowledge.

She recently had a family member come to her for help with her need to work from home doing virtual learning as a substitute teacher. Without internet and a good device, she wouldn’t be able to do her job.

Saraphina and her team sprang into action and determined what the relative needed. She helped her find a hotspot, Chromebook and printer.

“Being here at Best Buy and being able to help her out in that situation was really satisfying because I wish I had that growing up as well,” Saraphina said.

But for her, it’s not just about teaching her family about tech. It’s also about teaching her co-workers about her culture — like how they transition into winter and celebrate the Diné New Year or how the clan system works.

“I think it’s just really important to teach both sides,” she said. “One about the tech and the other about culture, because it brings knowledge and awareness to both.”