Hopi/Tewa Youth Council looks to tackle community issues, seeks new members

The Hopi/Tewa Youth Council is back row from left: advisors Carlton Timms and Elvia Sanchez. Middle row from left: Nicolas Bolus, Sean Bolus, Melvin Sisto, Ayssia Polivema, Lottie Safkie, Erin Eustace, and Michaella Kagenveama. Front row: KeAndre David and Alessandro Bolus. Submitted photo

The Hopi/Tewa Youth Council is back row from left: advisors Carlton Timms and Elvia Sanchez. Middle row from left: Nicolas Bolus, Sean Bolus, Melvin Sisto, Ayssia Polivema, Lottie Safkie, Erin Eustace, and Michaella Kagenveama. Front row: KeAndre David and Alessandro Bolus. Submitted photo

The Hopi/Tewa Youth Council (HTYC), a group made up of local youths who live on the Hopi reservation, have come together for a common purpose-to make their voices heard, to represent youth, to represent their villages and communities and to play a role in addressing issues and concerns.

Through the youth council, kids have an opportunity to develop and strengthen their leadership skills, become a youth advisory body for the Hopi/Tewa communities, advocate for youth needs, address concerns affecting youth, network, coordinate programs, activities and events for youth and collaborate with resources on and off the reservation.

The youth advisory committee formed in 2010 and is committed to implementing youth development and initiatives from a grassroots perspective. The group consists of village youth and elder program coordinators, village community service administrators, a village board of directors, reservation-wide community members, parents, and grandparents, schools, the Hopi Tribal Housing Authority and other professionals.

In January the Hopi/Tewa advisory committee developed an action plan by participating in a strategic planning and training provided by FirstPic Inc., based in Washington, DC. to incorporate a reservation-wide youth program. The Hopi Tribal Housing Authority played host to the event.

One of the group's goals is to reopen the youth center in Polacca, Ariz.

As of June there are 14 active participants representing their respective villages and communities: Des'ree Nasingoetewa, President (Bacavi); Lottie Saufkie, Secretary (Lower Moencopi); Nicholai Bolus, Treasurer (Second Mesa); and members Alyssia Polivema (Lower Moencopi); KeAndre David, (Tewa); Faylene Rogers, (Tewa); Michealla Kagenveama, (Tewa); Erin Eustace (Tewa); Melvin Sisto (Bacavi); Kelliegh Lynch-Sewequaptewa (Sichmovi); Sean Bolus (Second Mesa); Allessandro Bolus (Second Mesa); Alfred Soliman (Second Mesa) and Kaitlyn Youvella. Advisors- Carlton Timms, Village of Tewa, Youth Program Coordinator and Elvia Sanchez, Village of Bacavi, Youth Center Coordinator.

Village youth and elder coordinators and village administrations are looking to recruit youth who are 11-18 years of age, currently in school or have a high school diploma or GED with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 and/or are pursuing other educational or professional growth. Membership is open to any youth interested in making a difference.

More information about recruitment in villages is available from local village youth and elder coordinators or from Carlton Timms at (928) 401-0376 or villageoftewayouth@gmail.com or from Elvia Sanchez at (928) 734-7111 or bacavi_youth@hotmail.com.

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