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Kiera Toya

Hello, my name is Kiera Toya. I am 18 years old and a proud tribal member from the Pueblo of Jemez. I am currently in my third semester of college at Central New Mexico Community College (CNM) majoring in Nursing, and plan to start my second year at the University of New Mexico (UNM). After receiving my degree, I plan to give back to my community and create a midwifery clinic for the women in the community. When I am not spending my time on my studies, I enjoy participating in traditional dances, traveling, sports, volunteering, and working out. I have attended three National UNITY Conferences and each year has been an amazing experience. UNITY has taught me to meet new people and learn how to get out of my comfort zone. Most of all, it has taught me to become a role model in different communities to encourage youth to learn their culture and participate in traditional prayer, song, and dances. Additionally, inspiring youth to live drug and alcohol free plus maintaining a healthy lifestyle by exercising daily. Within my culture I was able to have a number of role models who not only help me understand the significance of our language, songs and dances but supported me through education. Like everyone else I have gone through many obstacles in my academic and personal life but never stopped me from achieving my goals. Serving my 2nd year as Female Co-President of the Native American Youth Empowerment, I have learned a number of leadership skills such as communication, patience, commitment and being able to take initiative. I want youth to take in the issues that are happening around them and take a stand. Within the Southwest region, my goals are to get more youth representing from Colorado to attend a UNITY conference because it is life-changing.