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November Program Highlight: DIW YLDP

DIW's Youth Leadership Development Program

Division of Indian Work's Youth Leadership Development Program (YLDP) encourages well-rounded success by providing youth with a wide variety of learning opportunities and academic support, including after-school tutoring, cultural enrichment, and recreational, environmental and artistic activities.

How does this program center culture?

We connect with our culture through relationships with elders as guest speakers, taking field trips to community events or Native specific exhibits, doing art and crafts, participating in ceremonies, learning the Dakota language, Native in Excellence, smudging, praying and making a spirit plate.

What role does mentoring play at DIW YLDP

Our program encourages mentoring relationships through our relationships with Elders, building relationships between our older youth and our younger youth, and our Young Women’s Society is mentorship based as well.

Hear from Rica Rivera, Seneca Nation of Indians, who is the Volunteer Coordinator/Youth Worker for the Youth Leadership Development Program about working here

I have been working for the YLDP program for almost 9 years. The reason I enjoy working here so much is because of the relationships with the youth. I never knew or thought I was good with children until I started. It came naturally and the kids are awesome which made it even easier. I also enjoy going on the field trips because I like to have fun too and I feel like if you’re going to be working with youth, you need to make sure that you’re in tune with your inner child. I love working at DIW because I feel supported, and I also feel like they trust me to do the job correctly.

How can someone get Involved?

Volunteer tutoring takes place on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5pm-7pm, assisting youth in reading, homework and free time. Must be willing to do a background check, a short 20min orientation, and be vaccinated against COVID or provide a negative test weekly.

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