Native American Business Community Hosts Student Symposium

Published February 23, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE – Looking to develop and educate the next generation of Native American business leaders, local businesses, tribes, state government and educators will come together to host the Native American Youth Empowerment Symposium on March 27, 2017.

About 150 high school and college students are expected to attend the symposium at the Isleta Resort & Casino. Students will learn about financial literacy, entrepreneurship, professional development, media and IT careers. They will also attend an education and career fair with representatives from tribal and New Mexico universities and colleges, and military recruiters. Students will also receive information about scholarships, internships and local job openings.

“This is an opportunity for students to find various resources and information all in one location,” said Russell Pedro, Business Development Specialist at the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of New Mexico, a co-sponsor of the event. Other sponsors include Tiwa Lending Services, the Pueblo of Isleta, Souder, Miller & Associates, and New Mexico Bank and Trust.

“We hope to promote, motivate and encourage networking, leadership and entrepreneurship to help students find their passions to make a difference in our communities,” Pedro added.

The symposium will help kick off National Financial Literacy Month in April. Tiwa Lending Services, a community development financial institution that assists Isleta Pueblo members with low-interest home and credit-builder loans, will host real-time financial education activities involving budget simulations, games and activities designed to provide experiential learning for local Native youth.

“The key to financial independence is financial literacy,” said Sheila Herrera, Tiwa Lending Services Executive Director.

Educational and business booths, and sponsorships are still available. To register or for more information, go to

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