What’s New in the Community – January 2019


Rica Rivera inducted into the Youth Intervention Hall of Fame

On December 7, 2018, Rica Rivera was inducted into the Youth Intervention Hall of Fame. Nominated for the Friends of Youth Leadership Award, Rica was chosen because she stood out as a leader in their field with a tireless commitment to youth.

Rivera works for the Division of Indian Work as the volunteer coordinator and youth worker for the afterschool Youth Leadership Development Program. The program offers tutoring, culturally specific activities, language lessons and various field trips to primarily Native youth in South Minneapolis. She is also the site coordinator for the only American Indian Freedom School in the country, which is possible through a partnership between DIW and the Minnesota Children’s Defense Fund.

Since 1999, the Youth Intervention Hall of Fame includes individuals that go above and beyond in their service to youth in need and recognizes them for their accomplishments. Over the years, only 81 individuals out of thousands of youth workers have achieved such status in the Youth Intervention field.

“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is a big deal,” said Paul Meunier, the Executive Director of the Youth Intervention Programs Associations (YIPA). “We know that everyone who devotes their career to helping our most vulnerable youth is a superstar, but Hall of Fame members stand out as incredible people that we should all try to emulate.”
“I can’t believe it! I love my youth, that’s it. I don’t even feel like I deserve this award. I just know it’s exactly what I’m supposed to be doing with my life and I’m so grateful.” said Rica Rivera.

Youth Intervention connects young people with caring adults to develop their unique abilities and individual talents so they become productive, contributing members of their community.


NEH grants $14.8M for 253 projects, 3 in Minnesota awarded

Red Lake Nation College and Leech Lake Tribal College were recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants awards.
• Red Lake Nation College was awarded $97,350 for the project “A Student-driven Podcast for Increased Ojibwe Language, Culture, and History Engagement”. The money will help with the creation of a student podcast series about Red Lake Ojibwe language, culture and history.
• Leech Lake Tribal College was awarded $60,000 for the project “Women of Leech Lake Nation Stories: Historical Trauma and Colonization”. The money will help with the collection and publication of historical narratives by Ojibwe women of the Leech Lake Nation in northern Minnesota.