Why Is UNITY Important to Native Youth? – UNITY, Inc.

Why Is UNITY Important to Native Youth?

Learn Why from A Couple of Our Youth Leaders…

My name is Kasheena Susan Harris, the daughter of Martin Harris of Whiteriver, AZ and Sally Hooke of San Carlos, Arizona (White Mountain Apache/San Carlos Apache).  I graduated from Globe High School in Globe, Arizona on May 30, 2012.  I am now pursuing higher education at Eastern Arizona College. My educational goal is to become a Lawyer focusing on American Indian Law.

I began my educational goals at Eastern Arizona Community College in Thatcher, Arizona in the fall of 2012. I will obtain my Associate of Arts degree in Political Science by 2015. I will then continue my education at Fort Lewis College to obtain my Bachelors’ of Science degree in Political Science. I will then apply for Law school with Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, Washington.

I have been a member of the San Carlos Apache Youth Council since 2008, my freshman year of High School. I have served as the Public Relations Officer, Vice-President, acting President, and currently as the UNITY Delegate.   These positions have helped me gain hands on experience with Tribal government and community programs, as well as providing me direct contact with people who strive for the improvement of the physical, spiritual, mental and social aspect of life.

The SCAYC has participated in many programs and community service projects. One program in particular that Chairman Terry Rambler has included the SCAYC in is the water rights issue that faces the San Carlos Apache Tribe.  The SCAYC has also adopted a mile of Highway 70 that runs through the San Carlos Apache reservation. We participate in a clean-up of the highway twice a year, as well as a clean-up of various districts on the reservation.  The SCAYC has organized community runs/walks to bring awareness to teen pregnancy and drugs/alcohol.  We have recently visited the Apache elders in the Copper Mountain Inn Nursing facility. We shared a meal of acorn stew and acorn dumplings with tortillas. We also participated in youth conferences and trainings, such as the Nation Building for Native Youth, National Congress of American Indians, and UNITY which has lead me to my education goals that would help me serve not only my tribe, but all Native American tribes.

*UNITY has helped me grow as an individual in so many ways. To me UNITY is more than just an organization, it’s a place where we can express our individuality as Native Americans and come together as a whole to not only continue to build ourselves, but our communities to be the strong people we once were. It means that even youth have the opportunity to do so much for the people of our communities in Indian country. The workshops and conferences UNITY provides has become a stepping stone for me to take what I learned back to my youth council in order to accomplish our goal. That goal is to do our very best to make a healthy, respectful, well rounded environment starting with youth since it’s where our future lies. Ultimately it’s where you can never dream too big, a place of possibilities with the appropriate support.

UNITY is made up of amazing, driven youth who do what they can to improve their communities for the better. Any organization or person should donate to UNITY because it’s not just a short term donation, it’s a life changing opportunity for youth who come from reservations where they find it hard to see past where they come from, to see the bigger picture, and see what they can be with the help of supporters along the way.

Ya’at’eeh, hello, my name is Marcale Smith. I am a proud Navajo (Diné) born and raised on the Navajo reservation and currently residing in the small town of Page, located in northern Arizona. I am currently a senior at Page High School and am very excited to graduate with the class of 2014.

I strive to be the best I can be and magnify my potentials because I know I represent my family, my community, and my people. It is important to me to build a respectable and honorable character because I see that as a foundation for success in all my personal and professional goals. My professional goal is to become part of the law enforcement field, especially because I care for the well being and safety of people.

Since I’ve been involved with the UNITY club at our school, I have been proactive in my school and community by participating in events, clubs, and organizations, mainly to gain valuable experience. Some of these include: suicide prevention with NACA (Native American community action), SADD (students against destructive decisions), STAND (students taking a new direction; an anti tobacco campaign), and Reach Your Life program. We have also participated in: local projects, prevention activities, freshman focus, Native American heritage month awareness, battle of the belts, pow-wows, talent shows, princess pageants, tobacco projects (changing our city park in to a smoke free zone), host of a movie night (showed Star Wars in Navajo language), and walk of hope. I feel that these opportunities have a great impact on who I am and who I will become.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” -Dr. Suess

“How one generation loves, the next generation learns.”  Or “Live simple, so others can simply live.” -Marcale Smith

Why Donate to UNITY?

By donating to UNITY, you could change someone’s point of view on life. For some people, being a part of clubs, having friends, being involved in school, or even working a job are a “get away” from the things that effect them at home. Therefore, by donating, you don’t realize that you are possibly saving a life…or shaping a life.