Announcing UNITY’s New Peer Guides Cohort
Congratulations to a new class of UNITY youth leaders! Twelve young people have been named to UNITY’s OJJDP Peer Guide program, which builds on the successes of the past Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) National Intertribal Youth Leadership efforts and the Today’s Native Leaders program. The three-year initiative will support and enhance Native youth engagement, coordination, and action related to community support systems, cultural approaches to restorative justice, with a focus on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention in Indian country. UNITY looks forward to working with this diverse group of youth leaders and mentors, who will design and facilitate intensive trainings aimed to reach at risk Native youth throughout the country.
Join us in welcoming the 2019-2021 Peer Guides to the UNITY family:
- Sonwai Dj Wakayuta, Hualapai , KS
- Natane Pelkey, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, OK
- Santana Bartholomew, Pueblo of Pojoaque, NM
- Audriana Mitchell , Colorado River Indian Tribes, AZ
- Rory Wheeler, Seneca Nation, NY
- Cheyenne Kippenberger, Seminole Tribe of FL
- Vance Homegun, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, MT
- Collin Church, Potawatomi, MN
- Angela Noah, White Mountain Apache, OR
- Korbin Storms, Native Village of Unalakleet, AK
- Josiah Lester, Navajo-Dine, AZ
- Leticia Gonzales , Bishop Paiute, CA
This unique cohort will receive continual mentoring and training to support and prepare them to focus on delinquency prevention and juvenile justice issues in Indian Country in order to lead other Native youth through a series of six regional gatherings and webinars. These selected leaders will serve as project advisors, peer trainers, and provide technical assistance for the implementation of youth-developed community service projects related to cultural prevention and intervention strategies for the next three years.
UNITY received dozens of highly qualified candidates who exuded both passion and dedication to empowering others to overcome adversity and challenges within their communities. Each applicant shared heartfelt testimonies of community challenges they have overcome and their previous experiences with the juvenile justice system. The Peer Guides hope to call on those Native youth who have shown interest in this program, by incorporating them into the future Regional Trainings and upcoming awareness campaigns. Thank you again to everyone who applied for this competitive selection process.
The Peer Guide cohort is made possible by a cooperative agreement (2018-TY-FX-K002) between UNITY, Inc. and the US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.