Making A Difference

Community involvement is something that can start small and make a big impact. Check out a few stories from youth activists about how and why they decided to make a difference. Get inspired! Indian Country, rise up!

Protecting sacred sites? Speaking up about climate change? Fighting for our rights? Making your voice heard? Tell us about it!

Have an idea? Apply for up to $475 to make a difference in your community.



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Kiara Garcia (Nez Perce), age 18, is making a positive impact in Lapwai, Idaho. In April, Kiara used the community mini grant to buy feminine products and non-perishable food items. The non-perishable fod items were two different kinds of granola bars, gum, fruit snacks, applesauce pouches, and breakfast bars. She was able to fill 216 quart-size bags. She filled six boxes with the feminine products as well and three other boxes with toiletries. She was able to donate the snack bags, feminine products, and toiletries to three different places; Lewiston High School, Lapwai High School, and the ROC Rescue Mission. As a result, Students at both the high schools were able to access the pantries there and grab whatever they needed. At the ROC Rescue Mission adults and youth could access the pantry there. This project was so rewarding and a very humbling experience as well. Kiara plans on continuing the Pack-a-Snack project throughout her life. If you are interested in carrying out a similar project, Kiara suggests asking the pantries if they need certain items donated and to also get more feminine hygiene products. There was a huge need for them at the pantries.

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Shoshone Bannock HEY Students

In May, students from the Shoshone Bannock Healthy Empowered Youth (HEY) program offered yard clean-up services to elders in their community. Students borrowed lawn mowers, rakes, and a trailer, and spent the day mowing and planting flowers at two elder's homes. Afterwards they shared a meal, and asked the homeowner about their life. Check out the We R Native Facebook page to see before and after photos!
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Sicangu Lakota Youth Center

Over the Summer, Whitney, Tashina, Savanna and Noella planned, planted and enjoyed eating from a community garden. One of the best things they learned "...that it takes all of us working together to accomplish this". Apply for your own grant and get started making a difference today!
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Sisters in Healing

In April, students from the Sisters in Healing Group in Oregon hosted a Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Fun Walk/Run to raise awareness of sexual violence. The group formed a movement to inspire people to heal and to reach our for help. After making posters and flyers to put up around their school, over 50 students and staff attended the event, and had fun walking and educating one another.
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Summer's Story

In December, Summer (Oglala Lakota), age 15, hosted an AIDS Awareness Day booth at her community event. She handed out fliers on nutrition and HIV/AIDS awareness. The booth was a hit as almost everyone in attendance stopped by and picked up materials. She even got to meet some new people who were very supportive of her and promoting HIV awareness. Summer said she had a lot of fun so didn't stop there. She then organized a Holiday Teen Party to hand out gifts:) About 100 people attended, she made new friends and had great community support.
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Youth Movement

In May, Luke Harris (Cherokee), age 19, helped host a field day for about 130 Native youth at Nike World Headquarters. Renowned speaker Howard White came and gave an inspiring speech as well as Nike N7 founder Sam McCracken. The event was about inspiring Native youth from throughout Oregon and Luke was most proud of the speakers and leaders. They spent a lot of time prepping for the event and the result was a great success. Participants were able to partake in traditional games, football, soccer, stick ball and many other events...they even were able to give away college scholarships!