This year, in search of the 2016 class of Champions for Change, CNAY reviewed the largest number of Champions for Change applications we’ve received thus far. Although we can only select five finalists, the CNAY team and review committee were deeply inspired by the stories youth shared through their essay and video application submissions. Our Founder and Chairman, former US Senator Byron Dorgan, asked that we recognize the incredible youth leaders in this year’s applicant pool as CNAY Youth Ambassadors. In an effort to elevate positive stories from Indian Country, CNAY will shine a spotlight on one new leader each month.
Meet Naelyn Pike, 2016 CNAY Youth Ambassador
Naelyn Pike is a high school junior from the San Carlos Apache Tribe in San Carlos, Arizona. She is passionate about her culture, identity, and tribal sovereignty. She is using her voice to promote culture and language revitalization, and to defend sacred sites. She stands with Apache Stronghold, which is a spiritual movement to protect the environment.
This young leader has traveled across the world to share her message of hope and encourage unity in protecting the environment. We are inspired by Naelyn’s story and we look forward to the tremendous impact this young leader will continue to make for Native people across the country!
“Youth are rising. We are preparing for the rise of identity, spirituality, and resiliency. This generation is ready. I am ready.” – Naelyn Pike, San Carlos Apache Tribe