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The ‘Grow Your Own’ program plans to implement coherent and rigorous Services for the Native youth in the community enabling them to become successful and productive to meet the needs of a global workforce. For the program to begin its services it is in need of funding to better serve the native youth.
The program plans to reach out to the community and local businesses to seek support. We also plan to host fundraising, volunteering, and educational events that will benefit the community. A breakdown of the projected costs shows the need of funding. To begin to serve the native youth and to begin the process of preparing them for their career and educational paths.
The barriers that exist in accessing an adequate education on the reservation hinder the native youth. There needs to be more awareness and exposure to the native youth of potential careers and the world of work, along with skills necessary to meet the expectations of employers and post-secondary institutions.
According to the 2000 census, the Alamo community has a population of 2072 with a 60% unemployment rate and is one of the poorest Native American communities not only in the State of New Mexico but also in the United States. Currently, 56% of the population lives below the poverty level and has a per capita income of $6528. Separated geographically from the main reservation, Alamo has long been the stepchild of the Navajo Nation, largely neglected by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as well as by the tribal government.
Unemployment and lack of employment opportunities in the community is a prominent factors because employment and work ethics are not modeled in their homes or extended families. The native youth in Alamo see adults in low-skill, low-wage jobs such as Bus drivers, custodians, kitchen workers, teacher assistants, and very few high-skill, high-wage professions such as teachers or other professional positions. Due to the isolation and remoteness of the Alamo Community, students do not see other potential professions, the numerous career opportunities nor understand the qualifications necessary to obtain them.
Most of the native students face meeting the GPA requirements by the community school and Post-secondary institutions. There have been teacher turnovers due to the remote location in which the Alamo Navajo Community School is located. The isolation factor does not appeal to instructors and they leave the community after one year or less of teaching. Teacher shortages impact the Alamo students because unqualified personnel is used to substitute in their core classes. They do not get the kind of instruction that prepares them for high school and college classes. Postsecondary learning continues to be the lack of basic skills learners need for the amount of challenging coursework. Most of the native youth in the Alamo are bilingual with English as their second language. With this factor in place, it is difficult for the students to comprehend the curriculum. which results in students taking developmental classes, prolonging the process of attaining a degree.
There is a need for strong student mentors for emotional and educational support to provide a number of valuable functions, Including helping new students with their schedules, providing guidance, and offering information about the resources available.
To implement a program to serve the native youth in preparing for the workforce, not only the workforce but life outside the reservation. The GYO program is currently in need of financial assistance.
The following plan Includes
This plan is designed to bring awareness and exposure to the native youth of potential careers and the world of work. All while stressing the importance of their academic career.
We can perform the following methods to begin serving the Native Youth.
We will begin to expose the K-5th grade students to a STEM-based curriculum. While allowing outside resources to present on topics about their profession or occupation. There will be field trips involved so students can experience being in a different atmosphere than the Reservation that they are familiar with. Not only will the students be involved but parents will be welcomed to attend any events that GYO hosts.
Middle school students will begin to research the different pathways they could take after they graduate high school. They will also have a STEM-based curriculum alongside their requirements has middle school students. They will also take field trips to various places to get familiar with the outside world away from the reservation.
The secondary participants will begin to enroll in dual credit courses allowing them to work towards a credential while in high school. While having access to workshops on how to complete scholarships, financial aid, or the process of enrolling into college. The students will research what college will best fit them and their educational careers. Participants will begin to volunteer work and also gain work experience.
The GYO program will assist participants with college admissions, Financial Aid, etc in addition to job placement opportunities. The participants will receive guidance counseling and have access to workshops such as career counseling, life skills, employability skills, financial literacy, etc. We will help adult learners attain skill proficiencies to gain and retain employment, upgrade job skills, enroll in postsecondary training programs, complete courses toward and obtain an industry-recognized certificate, and or/ placement in military or apprenticeships programs.
Overall we will hire instructors to assist with the STEM-based projects. The GYO program will provide students with meals/ snacks when needed. All of the participants will attend workshops that will benefit them in the future. Parents are more than welcome to participate in the events that their child attends. We will also integrate the cultural values of the Dine people.
As we demonstrated the need of financial assistance we feel that the proposed can be measured through an objective evaluation of our methods. As mentioned before the rates of unemployment and the rate of students unsuccessfully completing their credential or degree is low. GYO will shut down the long over-due stereotypes of Native Americans.
Exposing the native youth to the possibilities and opportunities the world can offer can broaden their perspectives. Residing on the reservation the natives face many adversities that they have no control of. Educating the Native youth will help them to determine that they are able to defeat those challenges and make a change for the community. The Grow Your Program hopes to help the Native youth to become employed or attain an education in hopes of the participants coming back to the community and assisting with the challenges and issues they face.
The Grow Your Own Program will be operated by the Alamo Navajo School Board Inc. There will be a Student and Parent committee. Instructors, Tutors, and presenters will be hired. We will also reach out to local businesses to assist in events or presentations. It is expected that any personnel of the Grow Your Own Program will have a developmental plan to increase their skills and knowledge in preparing the native youth. All while acknowledging diversity and cultural values in the participants and community.
In conclusion, The Grow Your Own program will benefit the Alamo Navajo Community by preparing the native youth with college preparation and work readiness skills needed to enter post-secondary education and/ or the workforce. In regards to future economic development, there will be a new hospital expected to be constructed in the community and will employ various levels of health professionals. There is evidence of community members who are working towards a two-year degree. The Alamo Navajo Grow Your Own Program is a great and vital resource for the native youth. Participants will greatly benefit from post-secondary education, training, and employment opportunities available to them.
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