Native Youth Ambassadors in Washington, D.C., December 3, 2014. (by Photo courtesy of the Indian Health Service)
WASHINGTON —On Thursday, the White House announced the Gen-I Native Youth Challenge. As part of the process of establishing the National Native Youth Network, all Native youth across the country to take part in the Gen-I Challenge. This call to action is the first step in engaging a broad network of people interested in addressing the issues facing Native youth and creating a platform through which Native youth can access information about opportunities and resources, and have their voices and positive contributions highlighted and elevated.
Here’s how it works: Youth 14-24, non-profits, and educational institutions are invited to join the National Native Youth Network by accepting the Gen-I Challenge.
Who: Individuals, youth councils, and youth groups can participate as Challenge Acceptors. Non-profit organizations, Colleges, Universities, and TCUs can become acceptors by helping their youth and students complete the Gen-I Challenge!
Youth and others will accept the challenge by following this link and committing to take or encourage the following steps.
Step 1: ACT. Within 30 days of taking the challenge, youth should work with other youth in their community or at their school to do something positive of their choosing (for example: completing a volunteer project with a local organization or charity, hosting a meeting with other youth to brainstorm how to address an issue of concern in their community, or becoming a mentor to a younger person). The youth can use toolkits from the National Native Youth Network to help them in this work. Their local tribal youth council, urban tribal youth group, or Native youth organization may also be resources.
Step 2: CAPTURE. Youth should document their community efforts through a short summary (3-4 sentences) and with photos and video!
Step 3: SHARE. Youth should share their stories online and send the National Native Youth Network their story through www.cnay.org/Challenge.html. The National Native Youth Network or the White House may even feature their story.
Step 4: PARTICIPATE. By participating in the National Native Youth Network, youth may be invited to apply to send a representative to the first ever White House Tribal Youth Gathering in Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2015.
Organizations, colleges, universities, and TCUs can take the Gen-I Challenge too by committing to help their youth and students complete the Gen-I Challenge! They just follow this link to get signed up.
The following organizations have already committed to take the Gen-I Challenge and get their youth on board!
Gen-I Native Youth Challenge Early Acceptors
- American Indian College Fund
- American Indian Higher Education Consortium
- Boys and Girls Clubs of America
- Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute
- National Indian Education Association
- National Congress of American Indians
- National Indian Child Welfare Association
- National Indian Health Board
- United National Indian Tribal Youth