2019 Dreamstarter from Running Strong 4AIY on Vimeo.

Running Strong for American Indian Youth: Dreamstarter

Running Strong for American Indian Youth announces 'Dreamstarters'

News from Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

Washington, DC -- Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills announced the sixth class of American Indian youth to receive $10,000 Dreamstarter grants for projects that help them bring their dreams to life. Each of the ten Dreamstarter recipients, who are all American Indian youth under age 30, will work together with a community nonprofit on a health and wellness initiative supported by Running Strong for American Indian Youth.

“Our Dreamstarters provide vital perspective into the Native youth of today,” said Mills, who is Oglala Lakota (Sioux) from Pine Ridge, SD and co-founder of Running Strong. “Health and wellness tinges every aspect of every life. It’s a unique joy and very moving for these ten young leaders to share with us their visions for a healthier Indian Country.”

The 2020 – 2021 Dreamstarters are:

• Clyson Igarashi-Marquez (Native Hawaiian), 16, Hawi, HI
Dreams of opening a nursery for Native Hawaiian plants for reforestation, lei making, and therapeutic benefits.

• Lindsey Montileaux Mabbutt (Oglala Sioux Tribe), 26, Seattle, WA
Dreams of inspiring high school and undergraduate students to achieve careers in dentistry and medicine.

• Shakotah Star Billie (Navajo Nation), 20, Spanish Fork, UT
Dreams of helping the youth in her community achieve peace and harmony through several types of wellness.

• Bailey Chalfant (Northern Cheyenne), 20, Busby, MT
Dreams of empowering young women and men with self-defense techniques and healthy relationship counseling.

• Tahnee Poafpybitty (Comanche Nation), 30, Springfield, VA
Dreams of providing full dilated eye exams and eyeglasses to youth in underserved communities.

• S’Nya Sanchez (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), 16, Bismarck, ND
Dreams of creating a summer program to teach her peers healthy cooking skills and physical activities.

• Dante Jackson (Assiniboine/Fort Belknap Indian Community), 16, Harlem, MT
Dreams of creating a peer mentorship program to provide relatable role models for local elementary school students.

• Samantha Harrison (Native Village of Kotzebue/Alaska Native), 29, Juneau, AK
Dreams of creating a line of medical scrub tops to promote visibility of Alaska Native healthcare workers.

• Dawn Marie Johnson (Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate), 29, Summit, SD
Dreams of offering mental health and well-being kits to students in grades 7-12 in her community.

• Tia Yazzie (Navajo Nation), 23, West Valley City, UT
Dreams of a Native youth support group using holistic and culturally based healing methods.

More information about the sixth class of Dreamstarters and their projects is available at indianyouth.org/meet-the-2020-Dreamstarters.

Running Strong has given away a total of sixty $10,000 Dreamstarter grants over six years to support Native youth’s dreams for their communities. This program was announced in October 14, 2014, to mark the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ gold medal win at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

On October 14, 1964, Billy Mills, an Oglala Lakota (Sioux) runner, won the 10,000 meter race at the Tokyo Olympics in an upset, come-from-behind victory that has been called the greatest race in American Olympic history, and ever since has been an inspiration to Native youth and all Americans. He is still the only person from the Western hemisphere ever to win gold in the 10,000 meter race. He co-founded Running Strong for American Indian Youth in 1986 to help others live their dreams. Mills announced the Dreamstarter program on the 50th anniversary of his gold medal win, to help Native youth believe in the power of their dreams to build strong futures for themselves and their communities.

Additional information about the program can be found at IndianYouth.org/Dreamstarter

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