Investing in Native Youth to Design Their College and Career Futures

By Julian Guerrero, Jr., Director for Office of Indian Education, Office of Elementary & Secondary Education 

Investing in native youth to design their college and career futures

Advancing its commitment to equity, community-driven solutions, and empowering Native Youth to design their own future – the U.S. Department of Education has announced approximately $18 million in grant funding available for Native Youth Community Projects (NYCP) focused on college and career readiness. A major emphasis of this program is on community-led projects that engage school-age children in career exploration opportunities, with an emphasis on learning about the teaching profession.

The NYCP grant program is a discretionary grant competition authorized under the Elementary and Secondary education Act of 1965 (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). These grants aim to help communities improve educational outcomes for Native youth, specifically strategies tailored to address community challenges with culturally-informed solutions. Such strategies can include supplemental academic programs or courses, social-emotional services, cultural education, and other support services for Native youth students and families.

“I welcome the U.S. Department of Education’s announcement on availability of grant funding for Native Youth Community Projects that will focus on college and career readiness. Over the years, this grant program has supported demonstration programs through school districts, Tribes, and tribal organizations that have strengthened the educational opportunities and outcomes for Alaska Native youth,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

  • The estimated average size of awards is $400,000 – $500,000 and estimate a total of 40 awards, with a project period up to 60 months.
  • The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) includes a 60-day application period to provide prospective applicants a generous timeline to develop high-quality applications.
  • The Office of Indian Education (OIE) will broadcast a pre-application webinar. There is no registration fee to attend this session. Links to the webinar and all pre-application activities will be available at the OIE website.

After grants are awarded, the Department will provide on-going technical assistance to grant recipients. Successful projects will work in, and with, Tribal communities to improve student achievement, build the capacity of existing organizations, conduct community outreach, gain stakeholder buy-in, and refine strategies for reaching their project objectives.

For more information about this grant competition visit: