Since the launch of the White House Native American Youth Challenge in early July, young people across Indian Country have been answering the President’s call to submit their stories of leadership and service in their communities. Native youth have been active and engaged throughout the summer; hundreds attended the National United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference in Minnesota, the National Intertribal Youth Summit in New Mexico hosted by several federal agencies, and the Let’s Move in Indian Country Lacrosse event on the South Lawn of the White House, among others. But as the summer has come to an end, so too does the Youth Challenge and the last day to submit applications is this Friday, September 30, 2011. We have already received an outstanding response and we hope even more young people will respond before the deadline.
Please share this with young people in your communities; we value your leadership and we look forward to hearing your stories. The stories submitted will be considered and evaluated based on a demonstrated record of service to one’s tribe, nation, village, or community. Young leaders who have sought to improve their communities are encouraged to submit stories in one or more of the following areas:
- Education, Mentorship or Afterschool Programs;
- Sports, Nutrition or Let’s Move! in Indian Country;
- Substance and Alcohol Abuse Prevention;
- Health and Wellness, including Youth Suicide Prevention;
- Building Healthy Relationships and Peer Relationships;
- Cultural Preservation and Native Languages;
- Anti-Bullying and Personal Empowerment;
- Self Expression through Arts and Crafts;
- Emerging Leadership in Government Service; and
- Economic and Community Development
As a part of the challenge, a handful of exceptional Native youth community leaders will be invited to the White House this fall in conjunction with the activities of Native American heritage month. Submissions should include a description of the leadership initiatives or community programs; the number of people involved or effected; key examples of success; and explanations of the barriers or challenges and how they were overcome. Simply put, we hope to hear from Native American Youth to learn about how you are working to overcome the challenges facing your communities – send us your stories!