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EMPOWERING THE LIVES OF NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE PORTLAND AREA 04/13/2016
NAYA's Early College Academy graduate and foster youth Elizabeth McConnell speaks at the NAYA Generations ceremony and is empowered by what she has learned in the ECA and by the wraparound supports offered at NAYA.

Student Motivated by Unique Cultural Environment


NAYA's Early College Academy (ECA) offers students an experience that is unlike a main stream high school setting. ECA graduate Elizabeth McConnell embraced the diversity the school offers and found the culturally relevant curriculum an environment for success.

Elizabeth first came to NAYA as a foster youth and received cultural services that supported her. Instability in the foster care system and lack of cultural understanding were supports that her public high school couldn't offer her. Elizabeth chose to attend the ECA as a place that shared her culture and ambition to overcome obstacles that mainstream schools couldn't address. She says her proudest moment was when she graduated from high school, looking back at all she had overcome.

After high school, Elizabeth joined NAYA as an intern, then quickly became an advocate speaking on behalf of foster youth at the NAYA Generations project dedication. Later that year Elizabeth accepted the role as the 2014 NAYA Gala appeal speaker; sharing her story and advocating for foster youth and culturally specific education to more than 550 distinguished guests, politicians, tribal leaders, and Elders.

Today, Elizabeth is working hard completing her general requirements at PCC. When asked to reflect on everything she has overcome, her response always comes back to the cultural supports that NAYA's different way of teaching and the wraparound programs made the difference in her life.

Meet amazing students like Elizabeth at this year's ECA Luncheon and show your support for culturally relevant curriculum by investing in the ECA. Your dollars go directly to the ECA's area of most need like textbooks, school supplies, maintenance, sports and recreational equipment, plus much more. If you can't attend the luncheon but want to give, you can online by visiting nayapdx.org/give

 
 ECA high school student Paulina shares her powerful poem Mixed. She addresses questions that are asked about her identity. Watch Paulina and other ECA students perform slam poetry at this year's ECA luncheon.
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NATIVE AMERICAN YOUTH AND FAMILY CENTER
 
Our Mission:
To enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education.
 
About Us:
Founded by the community, for the community, NAYA is a family of numerous tribes and voices who are rooted in sustaining tradition. We work to identify and provide intentional services that will guide our people in the direction of personal success and balance, empowering positive change and cultural wealth.
Copyright © 2016 NAYA Family Center, All rights reserved.


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