Early Career & Young Professional Development
About the Program
Launched in 2017, the NAFOA Leadership Summit has provided Native American youth and young professionals the opportunity to learn about the current issues and policies impacting tribal economic development.
Summit attendees learn directly from tribal leaders and business professionals during a full day of programming that provides panel discussions regarding graduate school, career advancement, along with business and tribal economic development topics.
Following the Summit, participants attend the NAFOA Annual Conference. The two-day conference provides networking opportunities and facilitates important dialogues about tribal finance and economic issues impacting tribal economies.
Youth ages 20-26 years old participating in Career Basics are invited to apply for the NAFOA Leadership Summit.
- Career Basics Requirement
- Who Should Apply?
- How to Apply?
- Application Review and Notification
Youth ages 21-26 years old participating in Career Basics are invited to apply for the NAFOA Leadership Summit. Interested applicants must be registered and making active progress in the current year's Career Basics program.
If you have participated and completed Career Basics within the past two years, you may use that to fulfill the requirement. Participants who registered for a past Career Basics but did not complete the program must re-register and participate for the current year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to verify your Career Basics completion.
Nominations from Partner Organizations
Alternatively, NAFOA invites a select few eligible partner organizations to nominate individuals for the Leadership Summit. NAFOA will contact you have been nominated by a partner organization. We encourage nominees to register for Career Basics, but this requirement will be waived. Nominated individuals must still submit a full application to be considered for the Leadership Summit.
The Leadership Summit is designed to benefit:
- Undergraduate students studying business, finance, economics, or related topics;
- MBA graduates or students interested in pursuing an MBA;
- Young professionals interested in pursuing a career in finance, accounting, business, or related fields;
- Young professionals interested in tribal governance, finance, and/or administration;
To apply for the Leadership Summit, applicants must:
- Identify as Native American and/or indigenous (this includes American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations, and indigenous peoples from Central and South Americas);
- Be between the ages of 21-26 years old at the time of the Leadership Summit;
- Be located within the United States at the time of application and during the program dates;
- Have completed a past Career Basics within the last 2 years, or be registered for the current year's Career Basics and making active progress, or be nominated by an eligible NAFOA partner organization;
- Demonstrate a strong interest in learning more about the importance of tribal economies and the policies that impact tribal finance.
The application form will ask you to provide the following:
- Provide a clear and personal response to the following essay questions in 250 (min) -500 words (max)
- "What is tribal economic development and why is it important?"
- "How do you expect attendance at the NAFOA Leadership Summit to benefit you on both a professional and a personal level?"
- List of any relevant coursework in business, finance and/or economics;
- Current resume, preferably highlighting paid or volunteer experience in finance, accounting, business tribal administration, and related fields;
- Letter of recommendation (optional).
REMINDER: To be considered a complete application, you must register and participate in the current year's Career Basics, have completed a past Career Basics within the last 2 years, or be nominated by a NAFOA partner organization.
Applicants will be scored based on:
- Strength of essay responses in the submitted application;
- Academic performance, professional and/or extracurricular experiences;
- Community involvement;
- Participation and completion of the NAFOA Career Basics program prior to the Summit or be nominated by an eligible NAFOA partner organization.
Selected Leadership Summit applicants will be notified via email and/or phone by early to mid-March to confirm their spot.
Cost of Program
Fully Funded ProgramThe Leadership Summit funding provides support for the costs associated with participation in the program, including travel/transportation, hotel costs, meals, conference registration fees, and the NAFOA Leadership Summit program fees.
Location & Accomodations
Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel
The 2023 Leadership Summit will be held in Washington, DC. Attendees will be staying in the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.
999 9th St. NW
The Leadership Summit will be held Sunday, April 23, 2023.Following the Summit, attendees will also attend the 41st NAFOA Conference on April 24-25.
Attendees are required to arrive on Saturday, April 22, and can schedule departures for Tuesday evening April 25, or Wednesday April 26, 2023.
Frequently Asked Questions
Applicants must either be registered and making active process on Career Basics to apply. Alternatively, NAFOA invites a select few Native organizations to nominate 1-2 youth/young professionals. Those nominated do not have to complete Career Basics, but are encouraged to do so.
Yes. Nominations from NAFOA partner organizations allows applicants to skip the Career Basics requirements. However, nominees must still complete the application form.
Nominations are not a guarantee that you will be accepted into the program.
If you completed Career Basics within the past 2 years, you may count that towards your current application. Please check with email@example.com for your completion status.
If you registered but did not finish a past year version of Career Basics, you will need to register for the current year version.
Yes! We encourage all interested youth ages 18 – 26 to register in Career Basics. You can still register and participate for Career Basics during the program dates even if you are unable to attend the Leadership Summit.
The Leadership Summit funding provides support for the costs associated with participation in the program. Funding is available for travel/transportation, hotel costs, meals, conference registration fees, and the NAFOA Leadership Summit program fees.
Additionally, the dress code for the NAFOA Leadership Summit and NAFOA Conference is strictly business formal. To help attendees meet this expectation a $250.00 clothing stipend is available for all accepted program participants.
The clothing stipend is provided as a reimbursement via check. Summit attendees must provide receipts as proof of purchase and be responsible for submitting a reimbursement request.
Yes. NAFOA will cover and coordinate air/bus/train travel to and from the Leadership Summit.
Expenses for ground transportation or driving will be reimbursed.
No, each Leadership Summit attendee will have their own hotel room provided for them.
The NAFOA Institute’s Leadership Summit, the virtual Career Basics program, and webinars are generously supported by philanthropic donations and individual donors.
To learn more about giving to the NAFOA Institute’s youth and young professional programs, email Cody Harjo, Director of Media and Learning Initiatives, at firstname.lastname@example.org.