The Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative (NAPI) – December Lighthouse Award
Dec. 07, 2015
The Board of Trustee’s Lighthouse Award for the month of December was presented to the Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative (NAPI). NAPI is a community-based Aboriginal youth outreach program designed to motivate and empower Aboriginal youth to become future leaders and to seek the leader within.
The Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative has been a valued partner with the Calgary Board of Education for over 10 years. The Program is designed for Aboriginal Youth, ages 13-24 and consists of two main streams: Educational Outreach and Youth Leadership Training. NAPI aims to empower and inspire Aboriginal youth to realize their own potential in order to become emerging leaders of today and tomorrow. NAPI Program Ambassadors offer wisdom, support and are culturally applicable role models for CBE students. Their goal is to develop leadership skills, build self-awareness, offer knowledge, and encourage aboriginal youth to pursue post-secondary education.
The Calgary Board of Education’s Aboriginal Education Team works closely with NAPI in supporting over 80 students in High Schools across the System. This program has grown considerably since 2005, and now offers three levels of leadership training to Aboriginal youth.
NAPI Leadership Training is a certificated program which is comprehensive, culturally appropriate and specifically designed for Aboriginal youth. It encompasses three tiers of leadership training adapted from the University of Calgary’s Student Leadership Program. The levels include Personal Leadership, Team Leadership and Community Leadership and cover an array of topics focusing on self-empowerment, team development and the building of community through Aboriginal ways of knowing.
The partnership between the Native Ambassador Post-Secondary Initiative (N.A.P.I) is an exemplary model of a collaboration that offers support and guidance to our Aboriginal students in becoming future leaders. Two students from Western Canada High School spoke to their experiences with NAPI and the impact that this organization has had on their learning and student success.
“A huge part of what helped me to get through the course is the ongoing encouragement I receive from the course instructors as well as from my peers. This program supplied me with all the fundamentals needed to put me on my path towards post-secondary education. When I graduate this year, I am planning to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Geophysics. I believe that the NAPI program played an important part in my success in high school, and I am grateful for the opportunity it presents.” Carter, Grade 12
“After jumping over many hurdles (more like mountains), I changed my view about my future and I changed my grades around and now I feel like I actually have a chance at being the first person in my family to go to university. I made it my personal goal to be the seed of change I wanted to see in my family and my community. When volunteering through NAPI in my school and community it showed me that I truly love helping people and I want to pursue a career as a nurse at the University of Regina.” Lindsey, Grade 12