Ensuring success for our future generations
From the desk of Assistant Chief Gary Batton
I have been richly blessed to serve on several special boards in the state of Oklahoma that have a mission of improving lives of youth. One of the most recent appointments was to the Thunderbird Youth Academy, which gives high school dropouts an opportunity to gain control over their lives. The academy works with the youth to improve their self-esteem, increase academic performance and teach essential life skills. The students are instilled with self-discipline and community spirit. This gives the students a greater likelihood that they will be successful in their future endeavors.
This program really does change lives, allowing the youth to dream, believe and achieve. I am proud to be a part of this awesome program.
Another rewarding responsibility I have been given is to serve on the Children’s Hospital Foundation. This foundation has a hope and mission to work to improve health of all children through the support of research and education at the Oklahoma Health Center. Thanks in part to the research at Children’s Hospital Foundation, health care everywhere should continue to improve. The Choctaw Nation is very proud of the service we provide at the tribal hospital and clinics and we are pleased to work in partnership with professionals at the Oklahoma Health Center.
Of course, the board memberships closest to home are the ones closest to my heart. Jones Academy and Chahta Foundations receive a great deal of my attention and time. These two non-profits are set up to enable a legacy for future generations – for the education and culture of Native American youth.
Yakoke to all those who have donated and assisted in making these foundations possible to ensure the future of the Choctaw people.