KPBSD empowers Native youth and fosters teen leadership


Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Leaders (KPNYL) and Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula (PGKP)

A strong partnership between Kenai Peninsula Borough School District (KPBSD) and Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula (PGKP) resulted in growing leadership projects and opportunities for students. The Kenai Peninsula Native Youth Leadership Program (KPNYL) successfully enrolled more than 120 students and expanded to thirteen KPBSD schools this year. At Title VII schools in the district, students are engaged in community service, funding, governance, student led activities, leadership activities, presentations, projects, events, and institutes.

In KPNYL, site teams meet monthly with their site advisor as youth leaders. High school members can become district delegates who consider Native Leadership at district, state, and national levels, as well as earn. 5 Leadership credit per year.


In October, student leaders attended the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage, and are currently working on the Rock Your Mocks Native Pride project taking place in November 2015. November is also National Native Heritage Month.  


Thanks to a recent Youth Cultural Heritage mini-grant from Alaska State Council on the Arts, these students had the opportunity to illustrate pride in their culture and school by creating a school site Native Youth Leader Banner. Using the consensus decision making process, each team was given the assignment to design a banner that represented both their school mascot and the KPNYL wolf mascot. Site teams gave their authority to the KPNYL District Delegates for the final design decisions which took place during Project GRAD Kenai Peninsula’s Summer Institute.

These district delegates collaborated with a professional graphic designer, Print Works, to design eleven individual school KPNYL banners and one districtwide team banner. Each of the participating schools will hang their banner to represent the strength, pride, and leadership of these young Native leaders. Look for these beautiful banners in your school and share your appreciation with the KPNYL team members. Students in middle and high school, Native and Non-Native, are invited to participate.

Who can join the Native Youth Leaders council team?  

  • Anyone who attends a Title VII KPBSD school site, is a Native or non-Native student, and in middle school, junior high, or high school.

How to become a KPBSD district delegate:

  • Native student who has a 2.0 GPA, a second year member of a school site native youth Council Team, and enrolled in 10th-12th grade at a school.

KPBSD Schools

  • Homer Flex School
  • Homer High School
  • Kenai Alternative School
  • Kenai Central High School
  • Nanwalek School
  • Nikiski Middle-High School
  • Ninilchik School
  • Port Graham School
  • Seward High School
  • Skyview Middle School
  • Soldotna High School
  • Soldotna Prep
  • Susan B. English School
  • Tebughna School

Contact Jennifer Freeman, PGKP-KPNYL coordinator, to find out how to get involved in this culturally rich program or ask questions.



KPBSD Facebook Logo 2013 SML