Four members of West Virginia Universitys Diversity in Media Association will travel to New Mexico to work with the Futures For Children program at the 2009 Youth Leadership Summit held May 31June 5.


Futures For Children is a program designed to encourage American Indian students to graduate high school and pursue higher education. Futures For Children has 141 program sites in 61 communities across New Mexico and Arizona.


Natalie Committee, a 2009 journalism graduate from Wheeling; Cortney Leombruno, a 2009 journalism graduate from Elkins; Maryn Shreve, a journalism senior from Elkins; and Alex Weber, a 2009 psychology and biology graduate from Elkins will spend five days at a camp in New Mexico learning and documenting American Indian culture.


The camp is geared towards building leadership skills and encouraging community service projects for students in grades K-12 throughout New Mexico and Arizona. Members of the Navajo, Cochiti, Santo Domingo and several other communities will participate.


Futures For Children reports that over 50 percent of American Indian students drop out of school before graduating, and less than 4 percent obtain college degrees. Through training, encouragement and mentorship, the Futuresprograms have been successful.Approximately 96 percent of those involved in the program obtain a high school diploma and over 68 percent of participants obtain post-secondary education.


DIMA members are collecting school supplies and donations to present to the program at the 2009 Youth Leadership Summit. Any supplies or monetary contributions will go directly to the organization and would be greatly appreciated.To donate, contact Cortney Leombruno at 304-614-3340.


For more information, visit http://www.futuresforchildren.com .