Native News Network Staff in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Josie Raphaelito, program associate at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute was selected as a recipient of the "Native American 40 Under 40" award from the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development at the 37th Annual Indian Progress in Business Awards ceremony. The award acknowledges emerging American Indian and Alaska Native leaders who have demonstrated initiative and dedication to achieve significant contributions to Native communities throughout Indian country.
Josie Raphaelito Navajo
“To be recognized as a leader for my work with and for Indian country at the Center for Native American Youth is an absolute honor. I am looking forward to connecting with these other young leaders to find ways to collaborate and continue to make a difference in the lives of Native youth,”
commented Josie Raphaelito.
Josie Raphaelito was nominated for the award by Ivy Wright-Bryan, the director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Native American Mentoring Initiative. As a result of her work at the Center for Native American Youth, Josie was invited to join a new advisory council at Big Brothers Big Sisters, alongside tribal leaders and other champions for Native youth.
Josie most recently graduated with a Master's Degree in Public Health from George Washington University. Her Master's thesis focused on a policy initiative, aimed to increase access to mental health services through workforce development strategies, for the Indian Health Service. Suicide prevention in Indian Country is an area of true passion for Josie.
"I am very proud of Josie. She is clearly making a difference, one youth at a time. Her passion and dedication to improving the lives of Native American youth deserves this recognition,"
said former US Senator Byron Dorgan.
The Center launched in early 2011 when Senator Dorgan donated $1 million of leftover campaign funds. Josie Raphaelito served as an intern from the early days and was hired full time immediately after graduating with her Master's in Public Health from The George Washington University's School of Public Health and Health Services. She has been promoted several times, currently serving as the program associate.
"Josie is a critically important part of the Center for Native American Youth. The organization and our team would not be where it is today without Josie's positive energy, motivation and leadership. I am honored to be a colleague with such an inspirational person,"
commented the Center's director, Erin Bailey.
posted November 16, 2012 6:40 am est