To cultivate empowerment (3-E’s: Education, Employment, and Experiences) in Native Youth (5-25 yrs.) to be healthy and knowledgeable contributing representatives of the Mescalero Apache Tribe.
Is to engage tribal youth in meaningful (educational, employment, and experience) opportunities to build character and skill, while strengthening the physical and mental abilities of the individual encompassing mindful influence of their Native American traditions and environmental impact mindset, therefore, demonstrating positive change within themselves and stewardship among the Apache Nation.
The Youth Development will:
- Promote and support youth (5-25 yrs.) to partake in practical engaging activities (Apache tradition, conventional academia, etc.) through educational learning opportunities and acquiring employment skills with active participation, therefore fostering lifelong knowledge from the experiences (experiential learning).
- Mentor and encourage youth (10-25 yrs.) for potential careers via education or entry level employment prospects in natural resources, environmental, biological sciences, and/or historical preservation services that will manifest their dynamic contribution to their community.
- Develop employees (16-25 yrs.) for employment readiness through obtaining occupational skills, career exploration, and hands on experiences (work ethics, partnerships, training) needed for employment within the Natural Resources or comparable field in federal, state, tribal, and neighboring communities.
The Youth Development program offers opportunities for employment exploration, educational events, and promotes lifelong learning experiences with the availability to participate in various activities throughout the year:
(August-May) The After-School Program (5-18 yrs.): An environment that supports educational enrichment and physical growth providing structure where students can attend to get assistance with homework and part take in scheduled activities. Students participate in cultural, active play, age appropriate culinary classes, outdoor events, and enjoy wholesome nourishment for their growing minds throughout the school year.
(May-July) Summer Program (5-18 yrs.): Is a weekly summer schedule of active engagement for students to participate in daily activities that include: outdoor recreation-horseback riding/mountain biking/fishing, establishment of positive friendships, introduction to basic food preparation, and practice crafts of the traditional customs (sewing, beading, story-telling, etc.).
(May-July) The Summer Youth Academy (16-18 yrs.): Is a 9-week duel college credit (4 Science Credit) collaboration effort with Eastern New Mexico University-Ruidoso (ENMU) and Youth Development, paid internship for high school/entry level college students. The goal is to introduce the skills, physical labor, specific nature projects, and educational opportunities that are available in the field of natural sciences. In the class, the students have hands-on field work (science lab) and weekly topic specific agenda pertaining to the environment (climate change/forest restoration/watersheds/etc.), on-going environmental projects within the Mescalero Reservation, and distance/online format discussions with reports for the education component. Workshops and classes are taught through collaboration efforts of: Mescalero Department Resource Management Protection (DRMP), Lincoln County National Forestry, Mescalero Historic Preservation, Mescalero Parks & Recreation, Mescalero Forestry service, University of California, and other community partnerships. The Academy concludes with the students’ final presentation to tribal council representatives, community members, parents, and guardians sharing their knowledge and experience. The students are then presented with a certificate of participation to add to their portfolio.
(Year Around) 4-H (Head, Hands, Heart, and Health) (5-18 yrs.): A hands-on learning club for students interested in raising animals, homestead living, and educational-science related events. Students participate in livestock raising, nature based exploration, home economic activities, sewing crafts with submission of entries into local fair contests (Otero County & State Fair) exhibits.
4‑H is a Community: “4‑H is delivered by Cooperative Extension—a community of more than 100 public universities across the nation that provides experiences where young people learn by doing. Kids complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and citizenship, in a positive environment where they receive guidance from adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country—through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps.” (http://4-h.org/about/what-is-4-h/, information accessed on 09/13/2017)
(Year Around) Girls Scouts (6-18yrs.): Is a newly re-added program to Mescalero. The target is to revitalize the program and urge girls that are interested in becoming a girl scout. To contribute to citizenship and leadership within the community, while gaining self-confidence, comradeships, and positive experiences of being a “Girl Scout”.
“Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in the world. Girl Scouts unleashes the G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ in every girl, preparing her for a lifetime of leadership—from taking a night-time hike under the stars to accepting a mission on the International Space Station; from lobbying the city council with her troop to holding a seat in Congress; from running her own cookie business today to tackling cybersecurity tomorrow.” (http://www.girlscouts.org/en/about-girl-scouts/the-girl-scout-difference.html, information accessed on 09/13/2017)
Girl Scouts Applications:
(Year Around) Cultural Classes (16-25 yrs.): Classes led by elders, community members, and cultural representatives to offer knowledge, story-telling, traditional demonstrations, and hands-on activities (sewing/baking/beading/cradle making/gathering of seasonal foods, etc.) used to carry on the Apache way of life.
(Year Around) Presentations (5-25): Presentations of Community programs, Educational, Collaborators, Natural Resource Experts, National Forest Service, and Forestry workers schedule speaking and demonstrations to the youth of the program to inform about local opportunities or events.
(Year Around) Youth Sports Engagements (5-25 yrs.): Mescalero Youth Development offers educational field trips and sponsors community programs throughout the year (Little League Baseball, Basketball, and Football). The program supports promotion of experiential learning within natural science engagements that can vary from physical activity to fishing or hiking.
Annual Environmental Fair (Public Event): Environmental Fair started on April 20, 2017, to show case the Mescalero tribal entities that serve the community within the environmental field work and educational opportunities. This event allows the public to observe, inquire, and learn about the environmental programs in the community that range from conservation, hunting, fishing, timber/lumber, and educational pathways for collegiate majors interested in possible career vocations.