National Network Provides Leadership Opportunities for Native Youth

A young Native American man.

In 2014, the White House began the Generation Indigenous initiative, also known as Gen-I, to improve the lives of Native American youth. As part of that initiative, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute recently launched the National Native Youth Network to connect aspiring young leaders and elevate their voices.

Here are four ways you can encourage Native youth to get involved in the network.

  • Accept the challenge. The Gen-I Native Youth Challenge asks young people to take action in their communities by spearheading a group service project within 30 days of signing up online. Participants are also encouraged to document their project with photos and videos.
  • Represent. Young people ages 14 to 24 can register to be Gen-I youth ambassadors, who serve as spokespersons for the Gen-I initiative and the Center for Native American Youth. In that role, participating youth may be invited to share their perspectives and priorities at meetings with local and national decision-makers.
  • Get on the map. Young people already participating in a youth-led program, no matter how informal it is, can post their efforts to the Gen-I map. The more information the map contains, the more visitors to the site can connect with like-minded youth, organizations, and services.
  • Speak up. The Center for Native American Youth also wants young people to share their ideas for furthering the National Native Youth Network. Do teens know of a local organization or program that could help fellow leaders achieve their goals? Do they have any creative ideas to share? Encourage them to “raise their voice” using this online form.

More on Programs for Native Youth

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Publications discussed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth, the Family and Youth Services Bureau, or the Administration for Children and Families.

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