Potter gets ‘Dreamstarter’ grant for Sequoyah County youths
“Dreamstarter” grant recipient Breanna Potter of Akins, Oklahoma, speaks with Greyson Bartlett, 14, during the leadership training for youth to prepare them for their futures. The training was held the last week of July at the Brushy Community Center. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
BRUSHY, Okla. – Breanna Potter is fulfilling her dream of improving her community and surrounding Sequoyah County communities by using a $10,000 “Dreamstarter” grant she received earlier this year.
She and Cindy Lattimore, Indian Capital Technology Center counselor, met with students from the county the last week of July at the Brushy Community Center.
Potter, of Akins, said the youth group is called the Brushy Dream Team and focuses on training youths to be leaders in their communities.
“We’re really big on trying to train our kids to be able to go out into the world and be leaders, whether that means to go out and move away and make a difference in other Native communities or whether it means to stay here and be community leaders or whether they decide to be a teacher or lawyer or they want to serve as mayor one day or maybe even serve on our Tribal Council,” Potter said.
She said she has already seen the program make a difference in the youths involved because they have become more outgoing or opened up more to their instructors.
Morgan Robinson, 14, a 10th grader from Vian, was one of the students from Vian, Brushy and Akins who participated in the weeklong program.
“Today we are learning about our personalities and more about ourselves and finding out about what we want to do for our careers, which I already know,” Robinson said. “I want to go into marine zoology, and on the sidelines I want to be a photographer and work in graphic designs.”
She said students also learned about applying for financial aid for college, preparing for the ACT test, taking college preparatory courses and gained leadership skills.
“I got a lot of information that I’m glad to have,” she said. “I know more about what to look forward to, and I’ve gotten a head start I guess.”
Along with learning leadership skills, the youths were given the opportunity to create a diabetes prevention program, Potter said. An entire day was devoted to wellness, she said, where the students learned about the negative effects of alcohol, especially in Native communities, and learned more about diabetes and the prevention methods that are available.
Potter said “a good number” of the participating students either have relatives or friends who have diabetes.
“Sequoyah County has almost twice the national average for diabetics, and the majority of those are Type II (diabetics). We have 1,300 (diabetic patients) that get served at Redbird Health Center every year,” she said.
In April, Potter was invited to Washington, D.C., to meet with other “Dreamstarter” youths and attend the “Dreamstarter” Academy, where the grant recipients learned how to run their projects.
“It’s a lot of responsibility. Some of the youth involved in the program are as young as 14. They want to make sure we are well prepared,” she said.
In July, she returned to Washington for a Tribal Youth Gathering hosted by the White House.
This is the first class of American Indian youths to receive “Dreamstarter” grants for projects that help them bring their dreams to life. Each of the 10 “Dreamstarter” recipients, who are all American Indian youths under age 30, are working with a community nonprofit on a project to increase wellness that is also supported by Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
She said that in her “Dreamstarter” application she explained that her “dream” or project was for her community group, the Brushy Cherokee Action Association. Her application also explained how she wanted to use the funding and provided a detailed timeline and budget for how the money would be spent.
Potter, 21, is a senior at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah majoring in special education with an emphasis in mild to moderate disabilities. She said her goal after graduating in May 2016 is to work in a high-Native population and teach in a junior high or high school.
For more information about this year’s “Dreamstarters” or to learn how to help jumpstart dreams for Native youth, visit http://indianyouth.org/2015Dreamstarters
ᏧᎾᏍᏓᎶᎦ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – Brenna Potter ᎠᎧᎵᎢᎯ ᎤᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎪᏢᎯᏐᏗ ᏓᏤᎸ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏁᎲ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎬᏩᏕᏯᏗ ᏂᎬ ᏍᏏᏉᏲ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏕᎬᏗᏍᎬ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅ “Dreamstarter” ᏚᎩᏒ ᎠᎬᏱᎯᎨᏍᏗ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ.
ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᎴ Cindy Lattimore, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎤᏍᎪᎵᏴ Technology ᎠᏰᏟ ᏗᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎩ, ᏚᏟᏃᎮᏔᏁ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎦᏰᏉᏂ ᎧᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏍᏓᎶᎦ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏰᏟ.
Potter, Atkins ᎡᎯ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᏚᎾᏙᎥ ᏧᎾᏍᏓᎶᎦ ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏓᏅᏖ ᏧᏂᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ.
“ᎢᎦ ᎣᏣᏟᏂᎬᏁ ᏦᏥᏏᎾᎲᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᏂᏲᏟ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎬᏩᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎡᎶᎯ ᏫᏚᏳᎪᏛ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ, ᎢᏳᏃ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᏱᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᏧᏁᏲᏗ ᏐᎢ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎭᏂ ᏯᏁᎭᏭ ᎠᎴ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ ᏱᎩ ᎢᏳᏍᏗᏊ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎢᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎾᏕᏲᎲᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᏗᎾᏘᏲᎯᎯ ᎠᎴ ᏳᎾᏚᎵ ᎦᏚᎲ mayor ᏳᎾᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᏱᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Potter.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬᏃ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎤᎪᎲ ᎯᎠ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᏄᏓᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎾᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᎠᏂᎦᏟᏯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏙ ᎠᏂᏬᏂᏍᎪ ᏓᎾᏟᏃᎮᏗᏍᎪ ᏗᎾᏓᏘᏂᏙᎯ.
Morgan Robinson, ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᏍᎪᎯᏁ ᏗᎦᏂᏙ ᏂᏓᏳᏂᎩᏓ ᏓᏄᎪ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᏓᏄᎪᎢ, ᏧᎾᏍᏓᎶᎦ ᎠᎴ Akins ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎨᎳᏗᏙᎲ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᏓᏁᏙᎲᎢ.
“ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᏆ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏃᎦᏍᏛ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎣᎬᏌᏊ ᎣᏣᏕᎶᎰᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎢᎦᏲᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎠᏆᏅᏔ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Robinson. “ᎠᏆᏚᎵ marine zoology, ᎠᎴ ᏐᎢ ᏗᎦᏓᏟᎶᏍᏗᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏗᎬᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ graphic designs ᎤᏙᏢᏒᎢ.”
ᎠᏗᏍᎬᏊ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎤᏂᏢᏗ ᎤᏂᏔᏲᏍᏗ ᏧᎬᏩᎶᏗ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ, ᎠᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ ACT ᎠᎦᏛᏗ ᎠᏂᎪᎵᏱᏍᎬ ᎢᎦ ᎠᏂᎦᏔᎿᎥᎢ.
ᏂᏓᏅᏁᎰ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎠᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏍᎪ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᎴᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏁᏉᏍᏗ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏓᏘᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎤᎪᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏍᎩ ᎠᎩᎭ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎪ ᎠᎩᎲᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎠᏆᏅᏔ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎠᎩᎦᏖᎾᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᎬᏱ ᏥᏙᎦ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎨᎵᎠ.”
ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᎦᏕᎶᏆᎠ ᏗᏆᏓᏘᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎢᏳᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ, ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏝᏅᏓᏕᎸ ᎤᏃᏢᏗ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎯ ᎥᏳᎩ ᎠᎭᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Potter. ᎤᏙᏓᏆᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏃᎦᏛᏁᎸ ᎾᎿ wellness ᏣᏃᏎᎰᎢ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏓᏴᏍᏕᏍᏗᏍᎩ, ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᎤᎪᏙ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎭᎷᎩᏍᎩ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ.
Potter ᎠᏗᏍᎬ “ᎣᏍᏓ ᏯᏂᎢ” ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙ ᏗᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏧᏅᏂ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᎵᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎥᏳᎩ ᎤᏁᎯ.
“ᏏᏉᏯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᏁᎭ ᎾᎠᏂᎨᏍᏗ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏗ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᎤᏁᎲᎯ, ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎪᏛ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᎪᏪᎵ (ᎧᎵᏎᏥ) ᎨᏐᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᎾᏂᎠ ᏌᏊ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎢᏧᏈ (ᎧᎵᏎᏥ ᏧᏂᏢᎩ) ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᏙᎰ ᎾᎿ ᏙᏧᏫ ᎠᏰᎸ ᎤᎾᏓᎪᎵᏱᏗᎢ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎧᏬᏂ ᏥᎧᎸ, Potter ᎠᎪᏎᎸ ᏭᏪᏓᏍᏗ ᏩᏒᏓᏃ D.C., ᏧᎾᏠᎯᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏁᏙᎰ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ, ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᏧᏂᎩᏓ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎪ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏙᏗ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᎾᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ.
“ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᏚᏓᎸᏗ. ᎢᎦᏓ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎰ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏧᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ. ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎪ ᏙᎯᏳ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ.
ᎫᏰᏉᏂ ᏥᎧᎸ, ᏭᎷᏨ ᏩᏒᏓᏃ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎩᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏟᏌᎲᎢ ᎤᏂᏍᏆᎸᎡᎲᎢ ᎤᏁᎦ ᏗᏓᏁᎸᎢ.
ᎯᎠ ᎢᎬᏱ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᏧᏂᎩᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎾᏓᏅᏖᎸ ᎠᎾᎴᏂᏙᎲᎢ.
ᎠᏂᏏᏴᏫᎭ ᎾᎿ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎾᏂᎥ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᎨᎳ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᎹᎵᎧ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ ᎭᏫᎾᏗᏢ ᏦᏍᎪᎯ ᏳᎾᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎠᏃᏢᏍᎩ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏚᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎲ ᎤᏛᎯᏍᏗ ᏙᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏍᏕᎵᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᎠᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗ ᎤᏃᎮᎸ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ” ᎠᎴ ᏯᏛᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏤᎵ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎤᎾᏓᏈᎦ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏍᏓᎶᎦ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ Action ᎤᎾᎵᎪᏒᎢ. ᎤᏤᎵ ᎧᎵᏏᏐᏗ ᎧᏃᎮᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎤᏩᏙᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᎪᎸᏔᏅᏅ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏎᎸ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ.
Potter, ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏍᏆᏗᏍᎩ ᎾᎿ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᎧᎸᎬ ᎢᏗᏢ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎢᏳᏍᏗ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬ ᎤᎦᏎᏍᏛ ᎤᏤᎵᏓ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏛ ᎦᏲᏟ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏗᏂᏲᎤᏟ. ᎤᏛᏅᏃ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᏱᏚᏍᏆᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏍᎬᏘ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏓᎳᏚ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒ ᎾᎿ ᏧᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᎠᏁᎲ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏕᏲᏗ ᏌᏚᏏᏁ ᏗᏂᏂᏙ ᎠᎴ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ.
ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᏕᎶᎰᎯᏍᏗ ᎯᎢᎾ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏓ “ᎠᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎠᏂᎩᏍᏗᏍᎩ” ᎠᎴ ᎠᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏗ ᎤᎾᏍᎩᏣᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏁᎯᏯ ᎨᎳ ᏗᎾᏛᏍᎩ, ᏗᏩᏛᎯᏓᏍᏗ http://indianyouth.org/2015Dreamstarters.