Honorees to be recognized at the 2016 National UNITY Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

The United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (better known as UNITY) has announced the second class of its “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” national recognition program that honors Native American and Alaska Native youth. The program, which launched in 2014 and is awarded every other year, recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Native youth leaders under the age of 25, who embody UNITY’s core mission and exudes living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

“UNITY is very excited to announce our newest members of our ’25 Under 25′ family,” said Mary Kim Titla, Executive Director for UNITY. “We had an overwhelming amount of applications this year, with so many outstanding Native youths doing phenomenal work in their communities and across the Nation,” added Titla.

The 2016 Class of “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders” are:

  1. Birk Albert, 17, Athabascan – Lake Placid, New York
  2. Caitlin Bordeaux, 24, Rosebud Sioux – St. Francis, South Dakota
  3. Seth Cooper, 19, Walker River Paiute/Assiniboine/Muscogee Creek – Glendale, Arizona
  4. Michele Danner, 18, Inupiaq – Anchorage, Alaska
  5. Sarah DeHerrera, 21, Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma – Santa Clarita, California
  6. Cierra Fields, 16, Cherokee Nation – Fort Gibson, Oklahoma
  7. Anissa Garcia, 21, Akimel O’odham – Sacaton, Arizona
  8. Mariah Gladstone, 22, Blackfeet – Kalispell, Montana
  9. Shandiin Gorman, 17, Navajo – Mesa, Arizona
  10. Vance Home Gun, 22, Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes – Arlee, Montana
  11. Sarah Jones, 22, Chickasaw Nation – Ada, Oklahoma
  12. Rebecca Kirk, 24, Klamath – Seattle, Washington
  13. JoRee LaFrance, 20, Crow Nation – Crow Agency, Montana
  14. William Lucero, 19, Lummi – Ferndale, Washington
  15. Jessica McCool, 18, Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians – Solvang, California
  16. Lakota Pochedley, 24, Citizen Potawatomi – Shawnee, Oklahoma
  17. Hamilton Seymour, 16, Nooksack – Bellingham, Washington
  18. Dyami Thomas, 22, Klamath/Leech Lake Ojibway – Seattle, Washington
  19. Tatiana Ticknor, 17, Dena’ina/Tlingit – Anchorage, Alaska
  20. Claullen Tillman, 20, Eastern Shoshone – Lander, Wyoming
  21. DeLesslin George-Warren, 24, Catawba – Washington, DC
  22. Rory Wheeler, 18, Seneca Nation – Irving, New York
  23. Brayden White, 21, St. Regis Mohawk – Hogansburg, New York
  24. Christie Wildcat, 17, Northern Arapaho – Riverton, Wyoming
  25. Eric Woody, 17, Navajo – Kirtland, New Mexico

The honorees will receive hands-on learning experiences, provided by UNITY, over the period of nine months, designed to build on their individual achievements. Applicants were judged by an independent committee who scored applications based on strength of application, strength of nomination form, strength of resume, strength of supplemental information, and potential to impact Native America. The official recognition will take place in front of peer youth leaders at the National UNITY Conference, happening July 22-26, 2016 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The National UNITY Conference, which will also celebrate UNITY’s 40th anniversary, is expected to attract nearly 2,000 attendees from across the country, representing Tribal and urban communities. The 5-day conference will focus on Native American and Alaska Native youth leadership development, and feature renowned keynote speakers, youth trainers, more than 40 workshops, fitness activities, exhibitors and Native American vendors, a Career & College Expo, the UNITY 40th Anniversary Gala, and much more. A discounted registration rate is now offered through May 31. Click here to register now.

2016 Class of “25 Under 25 Native Youth Leaders”

Birk Albert, 17
Lake Placid, New York

Caitlin Bordeaux, 24
Rosebud Sioux
St. Francis, South Dakota

Seth Cooper, 19
Walker River Paiute
Glendale, Arizona

Michele Danner, 18,
Anchorage, Alaska

Sarah DeHerrera, 21,
Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma 
Santa Clarita, California

Cierra Fields, 16,
Cherokee Nation
Fort Gibson, Oklahoma

Anissa Garcia, 21
Akimel O’odham
Sacaton, Arizona

Mariah Gladstone, 22,
Kalispell, Montana

Shandiin Gorman, 17,
Mesa, Arizona

Vance Home Gun, 22
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
Arlee, Montana

Sarah Jones, 22
Chickasaw Nation
Ada, Oklahoma

Rebecca Kirk, 24
Seattle, Washington

JoRee LaFrance, 20
Crow Nation
Crow Agency, Montana

William Lucero, 19
Ferndale, Washington

Jessica McCool, 18
Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians
Solvang, California

Lakota Pochedley, 24
Citizen Potawatomi 
Shawnee, Oklahoma

Hamilton Seymour, 16
Bellingham, Washington

Dyami Thomas, 22
Klamath/Leech Lake Ojibway
Seattle, Washington

Tatiana Ticknor, 17
Anchorage, Alaska

Claullen Tillman, 20
Eastern Shoshone
Lander, Wyoming

DeLesslin George-Warren, 24
Washington, DC

Rory Wheeler, 18
Seneca Nation 
Irving, New York

Brayden White, 21
St. Regis Mohawk
Hogansburg, New York

Christie Wildcat, 17
Northern Arapaho
Riverton, Wyoming

Eric Woody, 17
Kirtland, New Mexico