Native Aspirations gearing up for summer

The Native Aspirations summer youth work and education program is set to begin on June 27, and will run through August 19.
There have been four orientation sessions for interested youth. A last-chance orientation is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 19, at the Family Resource Center.

Reina Estimo at Health and Human Services is directing the program again this year. There have been 103 young people who have gone through orientation so far, she said.

Native Aspirations will provide summer work positions to the first 100 who complete orientation and all necessary paperwork. As of earlier this week, 23 kids had completed both the orientation and the paperwork, so there are still positions that are available.

This year there are some changes to the program. The placement of the youth with the employer, for instance, will be different.

This year, each youth will make recommendations as to where he or she might like to work. Then the youth will meet with an interview panel.

The panel will include a Health and Human Services representative, a Prevention worker, community member, and volunteer employer representative, for instance.

The interview will panel will also come up with recommendations as to where the youth might find the most work success.

The interviews are scheduled for May 23 through May 25. The May 23 session will be from 8 a.m. to noon at the Family Resource Center. This one is especially for youth from boarding schools.

The May 24 interview session, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., will be at Madras High School. And the May 25 session, also from 8-3:30, will be at the Warm Springs Academy.

Native Aspirations has places for six college students, but these have already been filled, Reina said.

Another change this year will be for the first-year workers. These students will work with a particular department, but will also spend two weeks with a crew working on various community projects.