Nominations open for Native youth leadership awards


Last updated 1/3/2018 at 4:17pm

25 Under 25 recognizes outstanding Native American and Alaskan Native youth.

MESA, Ariz.-Nominations are now open for the 2018 UNITY 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards. The program is designed to celebrate the achievements of Native American and Alaskan Native youth ages 14 to 24 who embody UNITY's core mission and exude living a balanced life developing their spiritual, mental, physical and social well-being.

Honorees will be recognized at a ceremony during the National UNITY Conference, July 5–9, 2018 in San Diego, California.

In addition to being recognized and receiving a custom beaded medallion, each awardee will receive special training by UNITY during a nine-month period that is designed to build on their individual achievements and promote community service.

The 25 Under 25 Native Youth Leadership Awards has been made possible in past years thanks to a matching grant from the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. The awards program began in 2014 and is awarded every other year. The 2018 class will be UNITY's 3rd class of honorees!

UNITY's mission is to, "foster the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaska Native youth, and to help build a strong, unified and self-reliant Native America through involvement of its youth." In keeping with its mission, UNITY has served the leadership needs of American Indian and Alaska Native youth for 40 years. UNITY is a national organization with over 160 youth councils operating in 36 states and Canada. These youth councils represent thousands of Native American youth.

UNITY began through the efforts of J.R. Cook, a Cherokee from Oklahoma, who has worked with Native youth in leadership development for more than three decades. The organization grew from a small group of interested Indian youth in southwestern Oklahoma in 1976 to a national organization today with affiliated youth councils operating in 35 states and Canada.

To nominate a young person by February 28, 2018, go to


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