The Wisdom Project Peer Mentor Program

mentoring poster 2

Click here to fill out an application          Click here to email Amanda

Wisdom of the Elders is recruiting 2 – 4 Native American youth to serve as mentors for The Wisdom Project. This Native American youth leadership initiative is designed to engage Native youth in environmental and climate studies through service learning so they can learn about their local ecosystem, consider higher education and careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, and serve as peer mentors to middle school youth. Peer mentors will assist a small team of Native youth during our one-month Summer Field Science Camp being held in Portland in July 2014.

Training will be provided some weekends March through June 2014:

1) Community film screening at NAYA featuring Alaskan tribes’ response to environmental and climate issues launches the project (day and time in March 2014 to be determined later in January)

2) Two spring weekend workshops taught by Native scientists from NW Indian College will orient Native youth, peer mentors, and community to local/regional environmental/climate issues (Apr-May 2014)

3) Video field production training (1 week in June)

4) 3-day training on preventing Type 2 Diabetes through a Traditional Food diet (3 days in June 2014)

5) An 8-hour professional development w educators, elders and peer mentors (last week in June 2014)

6) 10 6-hour Summer Field Science Camp sessions will be held, including daily field trips (July 2014)

7) Video post-production editing will result in a completed 5-min. video production (2 weeks in August)

8) Videos will be shown at a community film screening and everyone publicly acknowledged (Sept 2014)

9) Peer mentoring will be taught throughout along with a mentoring handbook

Following training, the youth will serve as peer mentors at Wisdom’s one-month Summer Field Science Camp for Native youth in July 2014. Ten 6-hour camp sessions will include morning workshops and afternoon field trips with fun service learning activities at 10 outdoor locations in the Portland area.

Partners include Native American Youth and Family Center, Northwest Indian College, Portland Community Media TV, Portland State University Graduate School of Education, Ecotrust, United Nations University’s Regional Center of Expertise, and Wisdom of the Elders. Funding for The Wisdom Project has been provided by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission, Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District, Portland Watershed Stewardship Program, Gray Family Foundation and Black United Fund.

If you have questions about the program or application process, youth and family members can contact Amanda Kelley Lopez at or call 503.775.4014. Applications accepted in Jan-Feb 2014. Youth will be notified in March with training starting soon after. Native high school or community college youth are invited to apply, including those enrolled in federally recognized tribes and those who self-identify as Native American. Youth will receive a stipend for participating in the spring trainings and the summer camp, and will be acknowledged at the community film screening in September 2014.

Click here to fill out an application          Click here to email Amanda


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation     National Endowment for the Arts     Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission

East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District     City of Portland Community Watershed Stewardship Program     Gray Family Foundation     City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability