After partnering with Del Norte Unified School District to obtain a $3.3 million grant, the Yurok Education Department hosted about 150 American Indian students at a career fair last week.
Students learned about opportunities in fisheries, forestry, business and early childhood education at the career fair on March 8, according to the Yurok Tribe. The Yurok Fisheries Department even brought live fish and showed students how they collect data.
Though the Yurok Education Department was the primary organizer and the lead contractor for the career fair, other partners included the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, the Resighini Rancheria, College of the Redwoods and the school district.
The Yurok Education Department is also the primary contractor for the Del Norte County Office of Education’s Redwood Coast Indian Career Pathways program, which will serve 700 sixth- through 12th-graders. The program will benefit students who are members of the Yurok Tribe, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation and Resighini Rancheria, according to the Yurok Tribe. The program will focus on early childhood education; business development, including accounting and marketing; and natural resources such as biology, environmental science, forestry and hydrology.
The $3.3 million grant came from the U.S. Department of Education seeks to increase high school graduation rates from 82.4 percent to 90 percent as well as the number of Native American students who are ready for college when they graduate high school. Under the program, 50 percent of Native American students will participate in a 100-hour internship program or earn at least nine dual enrollment credits with College of the Redwoods, according to the Yurok Tribe.
The program also seeks to help 8th-graders successfully transition to high school. The Yurok Education Department and the grants’ other partners will develop a plan to sustain the program when the grant expires.