Impacting the Next Generation of Native American Youth

In April, Stephan Cheney of the Kul Wicasa Oyate and Trisha Burke of Native Hope traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend the Running Strong for Native American Youth Dreamstarter Academy. They learned about Running Strong’s mission and Billy Mills’ vision for future generations. Stephan and nine other Native American young adults were selected for a $10,000 grant that will help them fulfill a chosen dream that will benefit Native youth.

While Stephan is a member of a Lakota tribe, he is living in Humbolt County, California, and working for the Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, consisting of 550 enrolled tribal members. As the youth coordinator, Stephan actively creates opportunities for the young people to learn what it means to be "Bear River.”

Additionally, his dream is to establish a unique, intergenerational mentoring program that will focus on creating identity for all age groups. The Ts’Denoni Youth Mentor Program is still in its developmental stage, but it will be up and running in mid-August.

Native Hope is proud to act as Stephan’s mentoring organization. They will have one year to complete Stephan’s Dreamstarter plan and look forward to developing a meaningful program for the Bear River Band of California.

We are excited to be a part of this empowering movement of young Native Americans pursuing their dreams and making a positive impact in the lives around them. 

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