Native Youth Design Business Training Program and Venture Utah Summer Camp for Native American Youth

NNEDLearn 2013 Participant: Utah Navajo Health System Inc. (UNHS)

Description: Venture Utah Summer Camp (VUSC) is a two week camp for youth ages 13-18 that is held close to or in San Juan County. Campers participate in activities and skill building programs that boost self-confidence and encourage leadership. The University of Utah School of Nursing is a partner and helps with giving all the students that attend camp a physical and determine medical needs such as eye glasses, diabetes treatment, etc. They also follow-up with students to ensure the medical issues are address.

Native Youth Design is a business that is run by high schools students from Monument Valley, Blanding and Montezuma Creek. The youth take orders from highs schools and businesses and design mugs, t-shirts, jerseys and water bottles. They are currently working on writing a recipe book of Navajo recipes and quotes, as well as a fry break mix that can be sold to tourists. The objective is to help students earn money that they can use to pay for extracurricular activities. The program was designed to help students gain work experience, business and marketing skills, and communication skills. The program aims to increase their independence and self-esteem so they are more likely to succeed as adults.

Population of focus: Navajo children and youth

Setting: School, Parks and recreation

Level of focus: Individuals, Community

Background: Venture Utah Summer Camp was started in June 2011. The camp was created because there was a need to continue therapy and treatment after schools close during the summer, and because many students do not have means to attend a summer camp. UNHS received a MSPI grant that pays for part of the camp and fund participants from low-income families. Native Youth Designs was started in November 2011 and is funded partly by the MSPI grant. The grant paid for the equipment. UNHS staff, along with Monument Valley High School staff and students, developed the idea to help students learn business skills and business organization. Revenue from the business in channeled back into the program. The program originated in Monument Valley and has expanded to Blanding and Montezuma Creek.