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Winnebago Student to Develop Program to Curb Suicide Among Native Youth

Alex Mallory, Winnebago, will receive funding and training to lead an initiative to educate Native youth leaders on suicide prevention techniques.

Alex Mallory has been named a National Child Awareness Month Youth Ambassador by the Festival of Children Foundation. As an ambassador, Mallory will receive funding and training to lead an initiative to educate Native youth leaders on suicide prevention techniques.

Mallory, a senior history and political science major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will travel to Washington, D.C., in September for leadership training and meetings with members of the state’s congressional delegation. When he returns to Nebraska, he will launch a campaign to educate young leaders on the disproportionately high suicide rates among Native youth. Mallory’s campaign aims to help young leaders understand that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

“Young Native Americans (are) taking their own lives more than three times the national average, and up to 10 times on some reservations,” Mallory said in his application for the program.

RELATED: Winnebago Student is UNL’s first Udall Scholarship Winner

Mallory was selected through a competitive application process, and chosen based on the quality of his project proposal and its potential to create substantive change that benefits young people in Nebraska. He is one of 51 Youth Ambassadors selected from the nationwide pool.

The Youth Ambassadors will work in their communities, and form a collective network to raise awareness around issues important to young people. The ambassadors receive a national-level platform for their cause; a $1,000 grant to develop a service project in his or her home state; ongoing training and project guidance; and networking opportunities with other Youth Ambassadors across the country.

Mallory is a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. He has previously served as a legislative intern for U.S. Senator Deb Fischer and as a legislative page at the Nebraska Unicameral. He is currently employed as an executive intern for the Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs.

Mallory is UNL’s first student to earn the nationally competitive, merit-based Morris K. Udall Scholarship. He was also a finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which granted him the opportunity of interviewing in front of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, Colorado.

After graduating, he hopes to pursue a juris doctorate at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and study Native American law.

Now in its seventh year, National Child Awareness Month is a program led by Festival of Children Foundation to raise awareness about issues affecting children and to encourage the nation’s youth to take action.