Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $508,245)
Our program goal is to continue the Ponca Tribal Youth program to minimize youth truancy, bullying, school drop-out, delinquency, drug and alcohol abuse, and depression. The program strategy encompasses prevention, intervention, and counseling to increase a youth’s leadership potential. The population served will be the 181 youth within the Ponca Tribal service area. The program will empower youth through leadership skills, after-school activities, monthly family events, and personal development to reduce negative choices. Activities will include culture camps, arts and crafts, motivational speakers, and sending a youth annually to the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) Conference. The program provides support to youth through a Project Coordinator and assistant, as well as a Youth Advisory Board, a Youth Leadership Council, and counselors in the Behavioral Health Department who provide assessments and counseling. The program will lower the age of youth served from 10 to 8, serving 8-17 year-old youth. Additionally, the program will add questions regarding youth experiences with bullying to our survey to get baseline data on bullying. They will address bullying by raising awareness and strengthening protective factors that build resilience.