A 20-year-old Sallisaw woman has been awarded a $10,000 grant to educate American Indian youth about healthier lifestyles. Breanna Potter received news of the grant last week, when Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills announced the first class of American Indian youth to receive $10,000 Dreamstarter grants for projects that help them bring their dreams to life. Mills, an Oglala (Sioux), won an Olympic gold medal in 1964 for winning the 10k finals.
Each of the ten Dreamstarter recipients, who are all American Indian youth under age 30, will work together with a community nonprofit on a project to increase wellness supported by Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
Potter is backed by the Brushy Cherokee Action Association, Breanna said her dream is to work with a team of local youth to educate their rural community about diabetes prevention and healthy eating. Her project will locally address the epidemic of diabetes and poor nutrition that many Native communities face. It would also teach the Native youth team members leadership skills, training in public speaking, and promotion and organizing to help them follow their dreams.
"Thank you so much for all your efforts; we so appreciate your early and enthusiastic announcement," said Vickie Owens of Brushy Cherokee Action Association. Owen is Potter's mentor.
"I'm so inspired by our first class of Dreamstarters," said Mills. "The Dreamstarter program is one more step towards overcoming the poverty of dreams among so many Native young people. The Dreamstarters come from communities and tribes all over the country. They are bound together by the idea that, despite the challenges, their dreams can guide them to build a strong future for themselves and for their communities. I look forward to working with each Dreamstarter over the next year, to helping them grow into leaders, and to watching their dreams come to life."
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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