Running Strong for American Indian Youth
Ten Native Youth Entrepreneurs share their dreams and goals for their businesses in Native communities while speaking with Running Strong for American Indian Youth Spokesman Billy Mills in the official 2019 Dreamstarter video (below).
In celebration of Indigenous People’s Day and the 55 anniversary of Mills’ 1964 Olympic 10,000 meter victory, the video was publicly released on Monday, October 14. The Dreamstarter video will be available on the Running Strong website, as well as Running Strong’s social media channels. Over the following ten days, individual profile videos of each of the ten Dreamstarters will also be released.
The ten Dreamstarters are all American Indian youth under age 30. Each is working together with a community nonprofit on a business supported by Running Strong for American Indian Youth. Dreamstarter recipients received a 10K award earlier this year to bring their businesses to life.
“The youth have the dreams," said Mills. “You’re taking your dream, then becoming your vision so you can provide opportunities for the young people. That’s very sacred.”
More information about the fifth class of Dreamstarters and their projects as well as the exclusive video is available at http://indianyouth.org/2019Dreamstarters.
Running Strong has given away a total of fifty $10,000 Dreamstarter grants over five years to support Native youth’s dreams for their communities. This program was announced in October 14, 2014, to mark the 50 anniversary of Billy Mills’s gold medal win at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. The Dreamstarter program helps Native youth believe in the power of their dreams to build strong futures for themselves and their communities. Running Strong is currently accepting applications for the 2020 class of Dreamstarters which will focus on “Health and Wellness” projects.
On October 14, 1964, Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux) runner, won the 10,000 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics in an upset, come-from-behind victory that has been called the greatest race in American Olympic history, and ever since has been an inspiration to Native youth and all Americans. He is still the only person from the Western hemisphere ever to win that event. He co-founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth in 1986 to help others live their dreams.
Additional information about the program can be found at www.IndianYouth.org/Dreamstarter.
The 2019 Dreamstarters are:
- Aukea Ka’aekuahiwi (Native Hawaiian), 15, Kapaau, HI Dream: bring traditional foods to his community and engage youth in traditional food production
- Taylor Eddie (Diné), 16, Spanish Fork, UT Dream: introduce Native American youth to agriculture as a business
- Kevin Belin (Diné), 29, Crownpoint, NM Dream: help teachers revitalize and strengthen comprehension and communication of the Language
- David Fraser (Oglala Lakota), 25, Kyle, SD Dream: build and open his own tire repair business in Kyle, following the footsteps of his great grandfather
- Hope Gamble (Diné), 14, Nazlini, AZ Dream: use her artwork encourage youth and help them understand Navajo culture in a new way
- Jacob Crane (Tsuut’ina Nation), 29, Provo, UT Dream: empower young Indigenous people through video storytelling
- Carl Petersen (Cheyenne River Sioux), 20, Parade, SD Dream: operate a video game design studio on Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and produce video games by and for Native people.
- Parrish Pipestem (Eastern Band of Cherokee), 15, Tulsa, OK Dream: expand his business by investing in both infrastructure that will streamline his business process and social media marketing tools.
- Joshua Smith (Osage Nation), 29, Portsmouth, VA Dream: create a Native-owned, socially-conscious coffee roasting company.
- Freddy Gipp (Apache Tribe of Oklahoma), 25, Lawrence, KS Dream: provide communities the opportunity to engage in cultural programming as a means of increasing their economic and social impacts.