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 14-23 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[LINK], 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.