BILLINGS, Mont.—Held at Rocky Mountain College, Western Native Voice’s Expanding Horizons Youth Summer Academy provided 40 Native students from across Montana with a unique two-week college experience, with an emphasis on the organization’s key programs: civic engagement, civic education, advocacy, and leadership development.

According to the program director, integrating these essential elements into the academy prepares students for active and informed participation in their communities. The holistic educational approach is a core part of Western Native Voice’s mission to empower Native youth.

Civic Engagement: The academy’s class sessions focused on enhancing students’ understanding of their roles within their communities, highlighting the importance of participation in various civic activities.

Civic Education: The classes touched on governance and civic responsibility aspects, fostering a basic understanding of how these systems can impact their lives and communities.

Advocacy: The program included discussions on community issues, emphasizing the importance of advocating for their rights and interests.

Leadership Development: The program focused on developing personal leadership and self-confidence, which are essential for future success in any field.

A trip to Yellowstone National Park connected students with environmental science and Native stewardship of the land, reinforcing lessons in leadership and civic responsibility. This excursion exemplified how educational themes are integrated with cultural identity.

Seeing these young leaders engage with each element of the program was a clear indication that they were not just preparing for college but also for meaningful roles in their communities. The initiative continues to be a cornerstone of Western Native Voice, providing foundational experiences that nurture the academic, civic, and cultural aspirations of Montana’s Native youth, equipping them with the tools and knowledge to succeed in college and contribute effectively to their communities, ensuring a promising future for these students.

  • Posted on: June 27, 2024
  • Categories: WNV News