Nominate a youth

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by Greg Lincoln

The folks at Spirit of Youth are asking you to make a nomination for the next cohort of youth awardees and we are due for some new winners for 2021. Several YK delta region teens that you may know have been recognized throughout the years all the way from 2014. These will inspire you to nominate the next generation of our incredible teens.

2018 Duncan Okitkun, Kotlik

Duncan shares his Yup’ik culture with the world every chance he gets. His songs and public speaking heals and strengthens people in his village. He has spoken and sang at numerous conferences. He is also involved in three different dance groups and is the leader of one of them. Additionally, he performs at his school, instilling pride in his peers and is a great role model for the young people of his village. Award Category: Dreamer

2015 Byron Nicholai, Toksook Bay

Byron participates in the Take Wing Alaska program where he is a role model and a leader to his fellow classmates. On his spare time he shares the singing and dancing traditions of his Alaska Native culture by making YouTube videos and uploading them to his Facebook page, “I Sing. You Dance.” Award Category: Cultural Pursuits

2014 Bethel P.R.I.D.E.

Michael Bialy, Emily Berryman, Tony Boyer and Tandy Vangtan created the Bethel P.R.I.D.E. dance group. The group performs and sponsors healthy events, lead by example and send a strong message to their peers that it’s ok to be expressive and to take pride in yourself and others. This team of self-motivated teens spent a summer fundraising, recruiting and defining what Bethel P.R.I.D.E. is all about so their new tradition can spread to other rural parts of Alaska. Award Category: Fine Arts

2014 Elizabeth Willis, Stony River

Elizabeth is one of the students at Gusty Michael School that opened a grocery store in her small village of Stony River. She volunteered to be the spokesperson for the store and spoke at the Elders and Youth Conference and the Calista annual meeting. Her efforts have kept her school going and her culture alive. Award Category: Service To Peers

2014 Shanelle Afcan, Nunam Iqua

Shanelle began an initiative at Mount Edgecumbe High School to get local seafood into the school meal program. She created an outreach campaign to educate students on the importance of local eating. Once local food was secured in her own school she took her campaign to the legislative session to further educate Alaskans about food security and preserving culture. Award Category: Science & Environment

Good job, well done! Make your nominations today at Quyana.