We R Native Ambassadors

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Kenny Nez

Kenny, Walker River Paiute Tribe, loves passing his enthusiasm on to others.

Ever since I started receiving recognition for excelling in sports (football) and in school, I have been looked up to by Native youth from my community. For the past 3 years I have been working and talking to Native youth from Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico about excelling in school and in life by being selfless, passionate,ambitious, and courageous. Having these morals in life will help them succeed and to take pride in their culture and to take pride in themselves on what they want to do. I am all of those things because I live it everyday. I'm passionate educating my community, whether they are a youth or an elder we can continue to grow...physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I want my community to be strong. I'm not talking about physically strong, but spirituality strong. I have always had a natural attribute of empowering others through motivation. This is why I decided to become an educator. Growing up I did not have a positive male role model in my life that I would see everyday. So by being that person I can see how my impact is already changing lives in my community. I just want to do as much as I can.

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Laurie Wildcat

Laurie, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, is a fast learner and positive role model. She wanted to be a WRN Ambassador to learn more about We R Native.

I see it around all the time and am interested in what services ambassadors would offer to our community. I love volunteering and helping our future adults know more about their culture and traditions. Hoping they grow up knowing the risks of drugs and alcohol. Knowing education is key and we can do it. I absolutely love spreading the word and being apart of something bigger and allowing my peers and acquaintances to gain experience, information and opportunities that I can offer them. I am passionate about sharing knowledge about our youth in the community and what we are doing to improve their future. What camps we can send them to, what clubs or sports to join, interaction, and so on. Communication with parents and students about what our youth can do, or where they can go is amazing. Anything I can do to be apart of community events or youth- I do it. Sharing my patience and time towards children is something we all need. Someone who understands children and can communicate that with parents. Someone who is willing to put time into events, expos, and field trips. Showing children what's out there and new things to learn about. I'm passionate about several things, but majority is our youth and the future.

Lucas Jiron

Lucas, Isleta Pueblo, is passionate about where he comes from and his traditions.

My tradition is very important me because mostly everyone in my family plays a very important part in our community-especially my Mom and Dad, they're some of the most important people in our community. One personal attribute that I have is that I love to meet new people and I want my voice to be heard because I do love to talk about my tradition. I would also want other Native voices around the world to be heard and not to be afraid to talk about where you come from. Embrace your traditions and language!

Madison Simper

Madison, Cowlitz, is most passionate about photography and nature, as well as helping and supporting others in difficult times.

I would really like to help inspire and encourage struggling youth so they can succeed, or to just feel like they are worth it. Nobody deserves to feel like a burden, and clearing your mind and giving attention to positive sources is a good way to lift yourself up. I want to strive to do this through photography, because I know that focusing on things- like nature- can be calming and cleansing, and photos may motivate people to connect with a part of the world that is less stressful and busy. I believe one day my photography will inspire others to follow their dreams and goals. You are not alone! We R Native

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Marco Ovando

Marco, Shoshone-Paiute, has seen what mountains have been moved by youth associated with We R Native.

I want to aspire to be like that. I want to push our youth, which are very, very unique in today's modern, globalized world, to become something beyond their wildest dream all while staying true to their cultural roots. I wanted to be an Ambassador because through this network, I can have leverage to reach to the adults to help our youth along the way. One thing I am very passionate about is the use of our indigenous languages in the school, social, and professional settings. Being raised by my grandmother, who is fluent in both Shoshone and Paiute, taught me that language is what ties down an entire culture and a strong symbol of resilience. This passion for the use of our languages in all settings in everyday life because I can feel the loss of identity of who we are as Native people as a result of not knowing our languages. I feel we need it in our school system to connect that identity back into the students to help realize their potential. I feel we need language back in the social and professional setting because it what separates us from the rest of the region. It shows as a testament to our resilience and strong tie to our culture. One attribute I will bring to the table is sheer dedication. I will not take no for an answer. Many people have told me I am a very dedicated person to whatever I want to do and be involved in. Once I'm involved, I love to stay continuously involved until it is finished. If there is a problem, I will work at the problem until it is resolved. My family calls it stubbornness, but if it wasn't for my dedication to be a better person for not only myself, but my community, I wouldn't be here today typing this very sentence.

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Maria George

Maria, Yakama Nation, is making sure that there are healthy activities that Native youth can get involved in.

Seeing so many youth my age struggling with the boredom and day to day struggles and set backs of living on reservations makes me want to help with activities that will help them be productive and successful adults. Hopefully realizing that as a community we can thrive on and off the reservation and bring back our new teachings to our people. I am passionate about any health aspect that I can help my community with. Be it nutrition, pediatric teachings or just new health information over all. Native communities struggle with being healthy because of inadequate or lack there of of-health care. Anything that will help us we the healthy side of life really interest me. Although I am not the most outgoing person. I think I am very easy to talk to and am very good at getting teachings across in a productive exciting way. I am very nice and relatable too. I have seen life on and off the reservation which can help me have a broader more humble perspective on things.

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M'kya Bettega

M'kya, Klamath-Modoc/Round Valley, loves being able to share her story and hear other stories from Native youth.

Being able to help the community is something I am very passionate about. Seeing the work that Ambassadors have done in the past makes me excited. I want to work with other Native Youth to see what changes or big things we can do together. I am passionate about sharing my ideas. By being an Ambassador I will be able to share my ideas and not be shut down. Just being able to say my thoughts and have others build off of them is going to be great! What is one skill or personal attribute you will bring to this position. I am a very outgoing person. Once I start talking in front of people all my nerves go away and I have fun with it. I am easy to get to know and I love meeting knew people. I feel like my willingness to want to speak as in public speaking and reaching out to the community is a helpful skill I'll bring to this position.

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Molly Rambeau

Molly, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, wanted to be a We R Native Youth Ambassador because of the opportunities it will present to better herself and her community.

Currently, in the Cleveland Native community, there are few options for Native teens and children to educate themselves about their culture and history. Sadly, this is extremely common in relocation cities, but, nonetheless we resist this attempt of assimilation. I believe that becoming a We R Native Ambassador would help to revive my urban community and strengthen the younger generations ties to their Native culture. One thing I am extremely passionate about is learning, whether this be culturally, spiritually or in an educational setting. I think that having access to information about hardships that Native youth face, such as high rates of violence, drug and alcohol abuse, low graduation rates and high suicide rates, help us understand why our youth are affected in such ways and allows us to find possible solutions. Everybody deals with these struggles and I want to let our youth understand that educating themselves in their culture or classroom will help them in all aspects of life. One personal attribute that I will bring to this position would be my determination. I like to find solutions to problems and I don't rest until that issue is resolved. My parents instilled this value and commitment in me and I have worked hard towards whatever goal I have that day. One long term goal I have is revitalizing the Native community and I won't stop until I have successfully reached that goal, this is why I am determined to be an outstanding We R Native Youth Ambassador.

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Morgan Mouse

Morgan, Cherokee, wants to spread the word on what is important to Native American youth-such as cultural events and the importance of indigenous languages.

I am passionate about sharing the language in my community to those who cannot take Cherokee language classes at Northeastern State University or at Cherokee Nation. I believe teaching the language should be free to our Cherokee citizens and others who want to help spread our culture through Indian Country. A skill I can bring to this position is integrity. Throughout my volunteer work around my community and at my college, I stood up for the rights of others and worked at events that were standing up for oppressed victims of assault and Native American land.