Peer Guide – UNITY, Inc.

My healing journey: UNITY Alaskan Native youth

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Korbin Storms, Native Village of Unalakleet, Alaska

I would tell Native Youth that struggle to see themselves as leaders that they have resiliency in their DNA, that sometimes it takes someone who has been low and lost before to connect to others that are feeling that way, that they have a unique perspective and so much potential to enact change and that the best leaders are those that give hope to others. The challenge I am most proud of overcoming in my lifetime is learning that although I have a relationship with mental illness it is not define who I am. I am so much more than my depression. That, perhaps most importantly, I could be a good mother despite my illness.

If you are putting yourself into a leadership role that focuses on healing oneself, you must show character and be transparent. 

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When I learned to love the desert, I learned to love myself

UNITY Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Damien Carlos
My whole life until I was fifteen, I didn’t know much of anything about my culture besides the fact that I belonged to the Tohono O’odham tribe. I knew nothing about where I came from. I went to schools on and off the reservation. My family dealt with alcoholism. I was in a dark place for a long time. When I was fifteen I moved back to the reservation and found people that were willing to take me places to learn about my culture. I learned songs, stories, and helped in ceremonies. I haven’t looked back since. When I learned to love the Tohono (Desert), I learned to love myself. For the last two years, I’ve been working with other youth from my community that have stories similar to mine to create a program to create opportunities for more youth to experience and learn out culture. I believe my culture saved my life and can help many more kids. Read More

Power of Empathy in Native Youth Leadership

Healing Indigenous Lives Youth Submission: Kyleigh Shipman 

In my early childhood, I witnessed close relatives struggling with substance abuse. After speaking with them, I have come to the understanding that these are battles in which a person begins to lose control. This has had a major impact on my life, and I had to learn how to handle situations that include substance abuse and alcoholism at a very young age. I learned that letting a person know that people are supporting them and assisting them in whatever they need support. Learning empathy for others has shaped my
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UNITY Peer Guides Announce Raffle Winners

Congrats to the following winners from the HILI Native Youth Town Hall Raffle. Each person who gave their feedback in one of the four regional Town Halls or written survey were entered to win an Apple Ipad for their time. The UNITY Peer Guides are looking forward to working with everyone in 2021! Thank you to all who participated:

  • Eastern Regional winner: Wiliam from Bridgeton, NJ
  • Central Regional winner: Shawndae from Camp Verde, OK
  • Mountain Regional winner:  Glenda from Farmington, NM
  • Pacific Regional winner: Elizabeth from Roseburg, OR

Building Community Support for Youth Councils

UNITY Advisors recently gathered for an interactive virtual session to discuss Building Community Support for Youth Councils as part of the UNITY Fall Webinar Series – Adult Track led by guest presenters, Eileen Crocker, White Mountain Apache and Vance Home Gun, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. Read More

NEW STATE OF MIND: YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH GUIDE

A first-of-its kind mental health guide created for students, by students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Text saying: "New State of Mind: Youth Mental Health Guide" on top of a black and green gradient background.

Young Americans are more stressed out than ever, and nearly half of Gen Z says they aren’t doing enough to manage stress. Young people could use some mental health support in 2020, especially with COVID-19 affecting over 55 million students in the US and millions more around the world. Through DoSomething’s New State of Mind campaign, powered by Blue Shield California as a part of the BlueSky Initative, thousands of young people submitted tips on how they’re getting through these especially tough times. We received 74,129 responses from DoSomething members, and we used them to create this first-of-its-kind crowdsourced mental health guide that’s for students, by students.

Check out their tips below on practicing self-care, dealing with the stress of digital learning, and supporting the mental health of those around you. (Plus, check out some additional resources at the bottom of this page.) And remember: the road to a healthier and happier generation starts right now with us.

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Year 2 In Review: HILI Peer Guide Cohort Accomplishments

OJJDP & UNITY: Working Together to Create Safe Communities

This year, the UNITY Peer Guides were able to offer training, virtually and in person to over 5,000 native youth. Young people will continue to receive training to serve as peer leaders who will provide training, mentoring, support, resources, information, and other assistance for their peers in efforts to increase public safety and creatively prevent and address juvenile delinquency. UNITY, with its trainers, youth Peer Guides, and mentors will offer regional youth leadership development training that will enable Native youth, and their adult advisors, to develop and carry out projects, programs, education, awareness campaigns, and other efforts within their communities. The projects will benefit communities while providing valuable real-world leadership experiences that will better prepare the youth to succeed in their leadership roles.

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Learn with Alumni: Engaging with Native Youth Through Social Media: Nov 4th Webinar

CLICK Here to Watch & Learn Dr. Locklear will discuss the various platforms youth use to connect with other youth. She will share insights on how to best connect and uses of social media. Special guest Dr. Leslie Locklear, Lumbee, is the FATE project coordinator at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, published author and proud UNITY Alumni & Peer Trainer for the Healing Indigenous Lives Initiative. Join us Live next week @unityinc76

Wednesday, November 4, at 3 p.m. PST / 6 p.m. EST– Engaging with Native Youth Through Social Media on UNITY Instagram Live

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Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Resources for Native Youth

In mid-September, the Center for Native American YouthNative Wellness InstituteWe R Native, and Tribal Health Reaching Out Involves Everyone (THRIVE) announced the “Native Youth Are Medicine Campaign.” This campaign aims to spark conversations around mental health, self-love, and to create youth-centered spaces to share practices that promote healing, wellness, and tools to live in balance. Check out their websites and social media/YouTube channels for a variety of virtual gatherings, including webinars, resource sharing, and discussions to promote wellness for Native American youth.

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Youth-Led Advocacy and Mentoring Town Halls

Throughout our history and especially in the last year, we have seen the power of youth advocacy and voice in leading transformative change. At MENTOR, we have also spent the last year supporting the advocacy and policy training of 12 young people from throughout the nation, learning how to best partner with them on the development of critical advocacy skills and support their leadership. We strongly believe that young people should be at the forefront of addressing systemic issues in their communities and nation. Read More