May 04, 2006

Seagate Hosts Native American Youth Conference

LONGMONT, Colo. - Seagate Technology hosted the third annual American Indian Youth Leadership Institute (AIYLI) Conference at its Longmont campus on Friday, April 28. More than 75 Native American middle and high school students, faculty and sponsors from the Boulder Valley School District attended the event, which focused on the theme "Changing Directions - Claiming Our Future."

Keynote speaker Jodi Rave, a national news correspondent with the Davenport, Iowa-based publisher Lee Enterprises, focused on issues and trends in media coverage of Native Americans. And experts led workshops on health issues facing Native Americans, education and intertribal identity.

"We were pleased to be able to host this event, as it supports one of our key corporate diversity objectives, to make educational opportunities available to minority students in our community, while building awareness among these groups of the many career opportunities at Seagate," said the company's Executive Director of Engineering Gary Hamilton.

A Native American of the Cherokee tribe and a Corporate Advisory Council member of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, Hamilton has made it his personal mission to encourage Native American youth to pursue degrees in science and technology.

"It's a matter of having role models and mentors who can help pave the way," he said. "I want to be sure the educational opportunities are identified, and the support structure is available for those who choose this path."

Other speakers at the event included George Garcia, superintendent of Boulder Valley School District; Dr. Vivian Delgado, an ESL teacher at Angevine Middle School in Lafayette and 2006 recipient of the Hazel F. Petrocco Award from the Colorado Education Association for outstanding service in the area of women's rights; Danica Brown of Denver Health and Family Services; Jason Firestone of Jeffco Public Schools; and Wanbli Williams of the Intertribal Bison Cooperative of South Dakota.

Before lunch, Frank Sherwood, of the Denver Indian Singers, led a Native American drum group in a traditional blessing and song. Receiving special recognition during the event was Adele Bravo, a member of the Luiseno Band of the Shoshone tribe and 2006 recipient of the Colorado Teacher of the Year Award.

The mission of the American Indian Youth Leadership Institute is to unite and instill pride in Native American students and to support communication between these students and members of the community who share similar heritage, culture, history and experiences.

About Seagate
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