A Different Approach is an innovative program for teenagers to develop a "pipeline of capacity" for tribal programs, enterprise, and community organizations. The program will provide skill development, life planning skills and mentoring to prepare them for accessing opportunities in the local job market and assume leadership roles in the community. The purpose of the programming is to fill a critical void in relevant services for youth in the context of the White Mountain Apache reservation.
The White Mountain Apache Tribe in Western Arizona is currently dependent on state and federal programs for youth education. Current programs either focus heavily on college preparation or behavioral health issues and not on the development of relevant skills for the local job market, practical instruction on life planning and financial management or the development of entrepreneurial acumen. Furthermore, the majority of staff are not members of the tribe and lack cultural understanding.
This program is designed and implemented by tribal members with professional experience, college degrees, and leadership experience. This program will provide 100 tribal youth with culturally relevant mentorships, access to job training and skill development, internships with agencies and local businesses, and weekly after-school life planning, business acumen, and creative thinking workshops. This will create a "pipeline of capacity" to transform tribal agencies and organizations.
This program will provide 100 Apache youth a year with transformational programming that will enable them to access job opportunities and contribute to tribal organizations. These students will conduct 100 independent civic engagement activities to implement solutions through a social enterprise approach. This process will create a generation of skilled change makers and break cycles of dependency on government programming by generating a shift towards community resilience.