Hopi Tewa Youth Council looking for members

POLACCA, Ariz.- The Hopi Tewa Youth Council advocates for youth and is looking for more members.

Carlton Timms, youth program coordinator and co-advisor for the Hopi Tewa Youth Council, spoke to a government class at Hopi High School last week. He said too often adults in the community make decisions about youth without their input. The Hopi Tewa Youth Council hopes to start youth programs and organizations in the community because many youth feel their issues, concerns and feelings are not being heard.

The other co-advisors for the Hopi Tewa Youth Council are Elvia Sanchez, youth program coordinator for Village of Bacavi, and Denise Youvella, teacher aide at Second Mesa Day School.

Timms said the Hopi Tewa Youth Council is not limited to Hopi and Tewa youth - any youth can join. He said four Filipino's are serving on the council.

Sean Sloan, a senior at Hopi High, said he doesn't trust government whether it's federal or tribal. Timms said the Hopi Tewa Youth Council wants to change that because today's youth are future leaders.

The Hopi Tewa Youth Council started about a year ago with 14 members, but is down to nine because of commitment, transportation and parental support issues. The youth council has members from throughout the Hopi Reservation, but also from Flagstaff, Winslow and Greyhills. The Hopi Tewa Youth Council has established its own bylaws.

Nicholai Bolus, a member of the Hopi Tewa Youth Council, said the council hopes to raise money to attend the UNITY Conference in Portland, Oregon, this summer. Timms said the youth council has successfully raised money through food sales, carnivals, raffles and donations.

Timms said respect is important and some youth council members have been kicked off the council for "doing things they shouldn't do" such as drugs.

"We hold our members to the highest standards," he said. "Some governments contradict what they say. On the youth council, you can't do that. If you have a goal, you don't stop until you reach that goal, but you don't lie and you don't manipulate. You go on the honest path."

Timms said the current members on the youth council don't bicker and they get along well.

Another issue that Timms would like to see addressed is the First Mesa Youth Center that has been sitting unused for several years.

"We're looking to be housed at that center," he said.

More information is available from Timms at (928) 401-0376.

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