2018 National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference Participant Awards

Posted 6/5/2018 3:31 PM by Guy Suetopka

Each year, the National Indian and Native American Indian Employment and Training Conference (NINAETC) nominates and selects Section 166 program participants to receive the Alice Bigpond Roach and Howard Yackus awards.  Rodney John and Christina Garber, the winners this year at the 2018 National Conference in Marksville, LA, are inspiring Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act program participants. Please read further to learn more about the awards, awardees, and award criteria.

 

ALICE BIGPOND ROACH AWARD 

Alice (Yuchi Tribe of OK) was the Director of the Lincoln Indian Center’s Employment and Training Program. In 1992, she served as the Chairperson of NINAETC.  Alice felt that establishing a strong workforce in Native communities was important and that the individual achievements of participants should be recognized. The participant awards are the result of Alice’s efforts. Alice passed away in 1995; but her legacy remains.

Rodney John, Southern California Indian Center, Inc., was the recipient of the “Alice Bigpond Roach” Award. Rodney faced numerous challenges including homelessness, and transitional barriers, having been previously incarcerated. Despite these barriers, he went on to achieve long term employment and his determination resulted in successfully obtaining his commercial driver’s license. He earns a good salary, has been reunited with his daughter, and contributes back to those charities and organizations that assisted him.

 

 

HOWARD YACKUS AWARD

Howard Yackytooanipah (Comanche Nation of OK) served as a Corpsman in the United States Navy, as well as a number of Marine Corps units during his tour in Vietnam.  After leaving the Navy, he relocated to Los Angeles and was an active supporter of the Orange County Indian Center (OCIC), now known as the Southern California Indian Center, Inc.  OCIC was one of the first recipients of the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) grant.  Howard maintained his traditions and culture--he organized the Golden State Gourd Dance Society and was a “Straight Dance” champion.  He was a dedicated role model for youth and a mentor.  Howard was tragically killed in 1986, when an Aeromexico jet crashed into his home on the Barona reservation.  This award is in Howard’s name.

Photo of Chrisitna Garber for Howard Yackus AwardChristina Garber, Citizen Potawatomi Nation, the recipient of the Howard Yackus award, is a senior at East Central University in Ada, OK and will graduate in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree.  She plans to become a special education teacher.  She had been out of school for 20 years, but was able to earn her Associates Degree and then pursue her Bachelor’s—as a single mother, she was able to maintain a 3.73 GPA and hopes to obtain a Master’s Degree in Psychology. 

Christina’s personal statement: “I am currently a senior at East Central University (Ada, OK) and plan to graduate in December 2018. I am enrolled in 17 credit hours this semester with a 3.73 GPA. I work hard to keep my grades up take this opportunity very seriously. Throughout my journey in college, this program has helped me succeed in reaching my goals of becoming a special education teacher. It had been 20 years since I had been in school and I was terrified that I would not succeed. I took that leap of faith and here I am in my senior year with a 3.73 GPA and have earned my Associates in Science.  Without the help of this program, I would not have been able to have transportation back and forth to school or the required books needed for each class. I would also like to state that the staff working in this program has gone above and beyond in helping me personally. They are always available with advice or able to direct me to someone that can help with whatever my needs are. I am grateful for all the services that are provided to me in regards to furthering my education. I feel that this program and the personnel are as invested in my future as I am. They always encourage and support my advances in the education field which has helped me stay focused and motivated in reaching my goal of earning a bachelor's degree in special education and having the opportunity to gain employment in the education field. I also hope to one day obtain my Master's Degree in Psychology.”

 

AWARD CRITERIA

The request for nominations was posted on February 9, 2018 on the NINAETC.net website and sent via email to all current PL 102-477 and WIOA Section 166 grantees. The nominations were accepted from grantees until March 9, 2018 and were awarded on April 11, 2018.

Alice BigPond Roach Memorial Scholarship Criteria:

  • Each Grantee may nominate only one (1) participant (current or former) for the 2018 Alice BigPond Roach Memorial Award.
  • Documentation of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian heritage or tribal affiliation must be submitted.
  • The nominee must submit a recent high-resolution digital photograph (for publication in program booklet).
  • The nominating Grantee must submit a 250-word essay documenting exemplary community service of the nominee.

Howard Yackus Memorial Scholarship Criteria:

  • Each Grantee may nominate only one (1) participant (current or former) for the 2018 Howard Yackus Memorial Scholarship Award.
  • Documentation of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian heritage or tribal affiliation must be submitted.
  • The nominee must submit a recent high-resolution digital photograph (for publication in program booklet).
  • The nominee must submit verification of current enrollment in a post-secondary educational institution.
  • The nominee must submit a self-composed letter stating his or her education and career goals, and explain how the WIOA/477 program has helped him or her.
  • Director’s statement of why nominee is deserving of this award.
Congratulations to the award recipients!




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Posted: 6/5/2018 11:31 AM
Posted By: Gary Gonzalez
Posted In: Indian & Native American Programs
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