Since 2000, Young Native Scholars (YNS) has been developing and implementing
academic, wellness, and cultural programs for Inter-Tribal Youth. We began as
a "grassroots" program attracting "in-kind support" from various educational
institutions and communities throughout California and quickly became a highly
acclaimed program recognized state-wide.
In 2004, deep state budget cuts severed vital support systems to YNS forcing
our transition to a non-profit 501c3 status under The BRIDGE Indian Training
Trust Fund headquartered in Imperial Beach, California. YNS rallied support
from the Greater Tribal Community of Southern California and various
organizations to continue.
YNS has been extremely successful in creating peer advocacy and bridging the
educational divide for Native youth. Through YNS, young Native scholars come
to understand the community-university-school relationships in inspiring
environments that address their identity and future as Native people.
With help of the nation's best mentors and instructors, in 2006-2007, YNS
provided four times the number of programs of previous years. Youth were provided
the opportunity to think, perform and interact on local, national, and international
grounds. Over the past few years, hundreds of Inter-Tribal Youth answered the YNS
challenge, accepting the discipline and joining together to achieve a high level
of "indigenous education." As a result, families and youth of many communities have
experienced life-changing benefits after participating in one or more of our programs.