Native Youth Leaders: Revitalizing and Embracing Wellness through Food
February 11, 2015

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When I was asked if I would like to participate in another internship in conjunction with the Notah Begay III Foundation and Ogallala Commons I quickly made the decision that I would like to have such an opportunity.  Like every previous opportunity I have had with Ogallala Commons I knew that this experience would be a memorable one just like the other experiences.  I knew going into this last internship that my main task would be involved in helping plan a Native Youth Leaders gathering.  I didn’t know what the expected outcome would be, nor the type of work that would be involved in creating such an event.  Although I didn’t have the experience in planning such an event I agreed and was delighted to gain this new experience.

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I have to mention before continuing this blog that when I agreed to participate in this last internship I was also starting my Master’s program at the University of New Mexico.  The Master’s program was a whole other new experience to live through.  Despite all everything came together.  Having limited time to accomplish all my tasks with work and school required an adjustment in my life concerning time management.  I thought I had always been a great time manager but working and going to school required a whole other balancing scheme of time management.  I am thankful for that awakening and development of a new found skill in making every minute of the day count.

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Each week at the Notah Begay III Foundation.  I was tasked with some form of planning for the Native Youth Leaders gathering.  It started from arranging venue locations to creating an idea for the general outline for the actual day of the gathering.  Although a day may not seem difficult to prepare for, I was soon brought to the realization that there was much thought and planning to be done for one day.  I could walk you through the detailed weeks leading up to the actual day of the event but, I won’t do that.  Instead I would like to go directly to the day of the event I helped plan.

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The day of the event was exciting.  The title of the event was called, “Native Youth Leaders: Revitalizing and Embracing Wellness through Food.”  Approximately thirty Native American Youth from Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota were present.  Numerous tribes from those three states were represented.  The group that came together was very diverse and had lots of opportunities to let this diversity shine through.  The purpose of this event was to bring these youth together to talk on the issues of food and wellness in their communities.  The opportunity to network and learn was some of the main goals for the youth to take away.  Through presentations, opportunities to visit, learn ideas, and share ideas was the focus in all activities that took place that day.  The people chosen to present in the gathering had been selected to lead such a discussion and inspire the youth to do the same in each of their respective communities.  The day of the gathering started and ended quickly.  However, the deep thought that went into the event went far because each of the youth present went away with a lot more knowledge and support for their efforts in helping their communities address the issues of food and wellness.

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