UNITY Announces “25 Under 25” Youth Leaders
MESA, Ariz. — The second class of “25 Under 25” Native Youth Leaders have been announced by the United National Indian Tribal Youth Inc. (UNITY).
UNITY started this national recognition in 2014 and it is a program honoring Native Americans and Alaska Native youth every other year. The acknowledgement recognizes and celebrates achievements by Native youth leaders under the age of 25 who embody UNITY’s core mission and lives a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being, according to a press release from UNITY.
Mary Kim Titla, executive director of UNITY, is excited about the announcement.
“UNITY is very excited to announce our newest members of our ’25 Under 25′ family,” she said. “We had an overwhelming amount of applications this year, with so many outstanding Native youth doing phenomenal work in their communities and across the Nation.”
The honorees include:
- Birk Albert, 17, Athabascan—Lake Placid, N.Y.
- Caitlin Bordeaux, 24, Rosebud Sioux—St. Francis, S.D.
- Seth Cooper, 19, Walker River Paiute—Glendale, Ariz.
- Michele Danner, 18, Inupiaq—Anchorage, Alaska
- Sarah DeHerrera, 21, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma—Santa Clarita, Calif.
- Cierra Fields, 16, Cherokee Nation—Fort Gibson, Okla.
- Anissa Garcia, 21, Akimel O’odham—Sacaton, Ariz.
- Mariah Gladstone, 22, Blackfeet—Kalispell, Mont.
- Shandiin Gorman, 17, Navajo—Mesa, Ariz.
- Vance Home Gun, 22, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes—Arlee, Mont.
- Sarah Jones, 22, Chickasaw Nation—Ada, Okla.
- Rebecca Kirk, 24, Klamath—Seattle, Wash.
- JoRee LaFrance, 20, Crow Nation—Crow Agency, Mont.
- William Lucero, 19, Lummi—Ferndale, Wash.
- Jessica McCool, 18, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians—Solvang, Calif.
- Lakota Pochedley, 24, Citizen Potawatomi—Shawnee, Okla.
- Hamilton Seymour, 16, Nooksack—Bellingham, Wash.
- Dyami Thomas, 22, Klamath/Leech Lake Ojibway—Seattle, Wash.
- Tatiana Ticknor, 17, Dena’ina/Tlingit—Anchorage, Alaska
- Claullen Tillman, 20, Eastern Shoshone—Lander, Wyo.
- DeLesslin George-Warren, 24, Catawba – Washington, D.C.
- Rory Wheeler, 18, Seneca Nation—Irving, N.Y.
- Brayden White, 21, St. Regis Mohawk—Hogansburg, N.Y.
- Christie Wildcat, 17, Northern Arapaho—Riverton, Wyo.
- Eric Woody, 17, Navajo—Kirtland, N.M.
UNITY will provide the honorees with hands-on learning experience over the course of nine months in an effort to help build their individual achievements.
Applicants were judged by an independent committee who scored applications based on the strengths of applications, nomination forms, resumes, supplemental information and the applicant’s potential to positively impact Native America.
An official recognition is scheduled at the national UNITY conference on July 22-26 in Oklahoma City. The organization is also celebrating their 40th anniversary and their conference is expecting nearly 2,000 youth participants from across the country.
To learn more about the conference and the organization, access their website at www.unityinc.org.