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UNITY teams up with SAMHSA for training series


UNITY Youth Programs staff members collaborated with SAMHSA to host a two-part webinar series this summer aimed at helping SAMHSA grantees with bringing youth councils to their communities. In an effort to help boost youth council activities and presence throughout Indian Country, UNITY staff is striving to increase youth council support during this time of the pandemic.

As the pandemic seems to be on the back end, social interaction throughout the world seems to be getting closer back to normal. It is no secret that many youth programs were dormant during the pandemic, whether they were tied to tribal programs or public schools, so restarting local groups may take a little bit of time.

UNITY alumni presenters included Michael Preston, Advisor to the Akimel O’odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council and the former UNITY NUC Male Co-President and Nicole Nells, Advisor to the Winslow High School Dorm Youth Council. Youth panelists included Former UNITY NUC Female Co-President Kiera Toya of the Jemez Pueblo Youth Empowerment and Caleb Dash, a member of the Young River Peoples Council of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

In the two-part series, UNITY shared in the first part, the benefits of having a youth council in one’s community. In the second part, UNITY shared, with the help of various youth council advisors such as Michael Preston and Nicole Nells, details about starting a youth council and its structure.  As presentations like these have become more frequent, UNITY staff is eagerly updating UNITY’s youth council toolkit to help all those youth councils coming back.
In the meantime, as students start to go back to educational institutions and campuses, UNITY can only hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

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