Jayden Brown, Beto Lugo and River Postoak-Gipp participate in the AISES training at the P.L.A.C.E.

 By Benjamin McAlister, FireLodge Tribal Youth Assistant Coordinator

With March in the books the CPN Tribal Youth Program steamrolls ahead with another full slate of exciting curricula and events for April. The youth at the PLACE are in the home stretch of this academic year and it shows in our GET Smart Program. Our homework help sessions continue to improve the way the youth study and retain the information they are learning in the classroom. As all of the youth at the PLACE know, our staff is completely devoted to them excelling scholastically. We look forward to seeing the results of all their hard work throughout this past school year. College and career readiness classes continue to move forward with campus visits in the making for the University of Oklahoma, St. Gregory’s, OBU, and University of Tulsa to name a few. ‘College Prep and Career Readiness’ is offered to all youth enrolled at the PLACE that are freshmen and older.

The “Boyz 2 Men” and “Girlz 2 Women” Success and Life Skills programs continue to be a big hit amongst our youth here at the PLACE. We have been graced with so many wonderful guest speakers and life skills presentation over the past month; and April will not be any different. Some topics we will tackle this month include organization skills, anger management, friend etiquette, manners and self-respect. Some of the simplest knowledge such as how to change a flat tire is often taken for granted or just ignored. (I unfortunately know adults that do not know how to change a tire.)

We want the youth at the PLACE to be equipped with all the tools and resources possible to ensure that they reach their full potential. Also our staff will present their life story anchored with a moral lesson to help our youth better understand that unexpected things occur to each and every one of us. The staff conveys to them that you most definitely will stumble in life, but can you learn from your mistakes and failures to persevere through the tougher times.

With weather permitting, the PLACE staff and youth will volunteer to assist with the CPN Community Garden. You can rest assured that the youth are more than eager to get out of the confines of our beautiful facility and get back into the sunshine and lend a hand. Earth Day rolls around this month on the April 22 and the TYP will be out and about assisting in cleaning up the putt-putt course and the surrounding areas. 

Last, but not least, we will wrap up this month with “PLACE-a-Palooza,” a karaoke contest between the youth and staff on April 29. If you have any interest of seeing our staff embarrass themselves please come and join us! 

To learn more email Ben McCalister at ben.mcalister@potawatomi.org