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Unity Announces ‘25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders’ for 2016

Awesome Native Youth! UNITY announces the top '25 Under 25' Native youth leaders.

The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) has announced its second class of “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” honoring Native American and Alaska Native youth. The program, which launched in 2014, celebrates the achievements of Native youth leaders under the age of 25 who embody UNITY’s core mission of living a balanced life while developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

These Native Youth leaders who will be recognized at the 2016 National UNITY Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma are:

  1. Birk Albert, 17, Athabascan – Lake Placid, New York
  2. Caitlin Bordeaux, 24, Rosebud Sioux – St. Francis, South Dakota
  3. Seth Cooper, 19, Walker River Paiute/Assiniboine/Muscogee Creek – Glendale, Arizona
  4. Michele Danner, 18, Inupiaq – Anchorage, Alaska
  5. Sarah DeHerrera, 21, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – Santa Clarita, California
  6. Cierra Fields, 16, Cherokee Nation – Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
  7. Anissa Garcia, 21, Akimel O’odham – Sacaton, Arizona
  8. Mariah Gladstone, 22, Blackfeet – Kalispell, Montana
  9. Shandiin Gorman, 17, Navajo – Mesa, Arizona
  10. Vance Home Gun, 22, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes – Arlee, Montana
  11. Sarah Jones, 22, Chickasaw Nation – Ada, Oklahoma
  12. Rebecca Kirk, 24, Klamath – Seattle, Washington
  13. JoRee LaFrance, 20, Crow Nation – Crow Agency, Montana
  14. William Lucero, 19, Lummi – Ferndale, Washington
  15. Jessica McCool, 18, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians – Solvang, California
  16. Lakota Pochedley, 24, Citizen Potawatomi – Shawnee, Oklahoma
  17. Hamilton Seymour, 16, Nooksack – Bellingham, Washington
  18. Dyami Thomas, 22, Klamath/Leech Lake Ojibway – Seattle, Washington
  19. Tatiana Ticknor, 17, Dena’ina/Tlingit – Anchorage, Alaska
  20. Claullen Tillman, 20, Eastern Shoshone – Lander, Wyoming
  21. DeLesslin George-Warren, 24, Catawba – Washington, DC
  22. Rory Wheeler, 18, Seneca Nation – Irving, New York
  23. Brayden White, 21, St. Regis Mohawk – Hogansburg, New York
  24. Christie Wildcat, 17, Northern Arapaho – Riverton, Wyoming
  25. Eric Woody, 17, Navajo – Kirtland, New Mexico

According to UNITY, honorees will receive hands-on learning experiences over the period of nine months designed to build on their individual achievements.

10 of the The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders.”

Pictured above: Top row - Michele Danner, Vance Home Gun, Dyami Thomas, Brayden White and Sarah DeHerrera.

Second row - Rebecca Kirk, Cierra Fields, Mariah Gladstone, Shandiin Gorman and Anissa Garcia.

Applicants were judged by an independent committee that scored applications based on strength of application, strength of nomination form, strength of resume, strength of supplemental information, and potential to impact Native America.

5 of the The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders.”

Pictured above: Seth Cooper, DeLesslin George-Warren, Rory Wheeler, Caitlin Bordeaux and Claullen Tillman.

The official recognition will take place in front of peer youth leaders at the National UNITY Conference, July 22-26, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

10 of the The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders.”

Pictured above: Top row - Birk Albert, Sarah Jones, JoRee LaFrance, William Lucero and Jessica McCool.

Second row - Lakota Pochedley, Hamilton Seymour, Tatiana Ticknor, Christie Wildcat and Eric Woody. 

The National UNITY Conference, which will also celebrate UNITY’s 40th anniversary, is expected to attract nearly 2,000 attendees from across the country, representing Tribal and urban communities. The 5-day conference will focus on Native American and Alaska Native youth leadership development, and feature renowned keynote speakers, youth trainers, more than 40 workshops, fitness activities, exhibitors and Native American vendors, a Career & College Expo, the UNITY 40th Anniversary Gala, and much more. A discounted registration rate is now offered through May 31.

Click here to register now.

Follow ICTMN’s Arts and Entertainment, Pow Wow’s and Sports Editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter - @VinceSchilling