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The summits are crucial in taking students beyond their “comfort zones” and building self-reliance by exposing them to previously unknown people and cultures. This association is instrumental in creating lifelong friendships and in further reinforcing the importance of teamwork and leadership in individuals and in communities.

Futures began the Youth Leadership Program in 1986. Youth Leadership started as a weeklong camp involving high school juniors and seniors who participated in leadership development activities.

To continue this vision and success, Futures for Children hosts annual Youth Leadership Summits. At the summits, Youth Leadership participants are teamed with fellow students from other tribes, communities, and schools. The main focus of the summits is to bring students from diverse cultures together to enhance their leadership skills and accentuate their teambuilding capabilities.

Students from Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, Cheyenne & Arapaho, and Mescalero Apache communities participate in a number of valuable activities, including confidence building ropes courses, environmental outreach workshops, service learning projects, question and answer sessions with American Indian professionals, public speaking exercises, and team development activities.