The Champions for Change (CFC) program is a Native youth leadership initiative designed to highlight positive stories of impact from Indian Country. The program, inspired by a 2011 White House initiative, develops young Native leaders through experience-based learning and tailored advocacy training.

About the Program

Each year, CNAY selects five inspirational Native youth (ages 14-24 and from across the United States) to join the CFC leadership network. All applicants, regardless of acceptance, are named Youth Ambassadors and stay engaged with CNAY and the Gen-I Network. Champions are Native youth who initiate programs, events, or other efforts that are improving the lives of fellow youth in Indian Country.

What is the role of a Champion?

Champions enter a close working relationship with CNAY that begins with a series of recognition events in Washington DC in the spring. This national recognition provides an initial platform for Champions to amplify their leadership stories and benefit from a variety of resources that enhance their advocacy skills.

What happens after the event in DC?

Beyond national recognition events, Champions remain engaged with CNAY through a one-year term on CNAY’s Youth Advisory Board, and take advantage of ongoing opportunities to contribute to the national dialogue on critical issues affecting youth in Indian Country.

CNAY Youth Advisory Board Members:

  • Participate in bi-monthly meetings to stay engaged in CNAY’s work and build leadership skills;
  • Serve as young community experts and are invited to provide their perspectives at and participate in conferences, webinars, meetings, and other speaking engagements;
  • Lead by example by serving as positive role models for their peers; and
  • Act as community liaisons to share information about resources and youth opportunities with their communities and peers.