With December right around the corner, it’s a good time to start reflecting on the year behind us. This year our Travois New Markets team took time to meet with people at projects funded with New Markets Tax Credits.
We’ll spotlight a few of these people, who were studying or working at clinics, education centers and other projects. Read below to learn how their lives and communities have benefited from the New Markets Tax Credit program, whether through new job opportunities or new services available to local residents.
Nicholas is a student at Itom Mahtawa’apo. He is attending the education center, located on the Pascua Yaqui Reservation, to earn his GED. He is able to walk to school and is thankful for the services the center offers. His future goals are to attend college and study computer science. The tribe saw a great need for a state-of-the-art education center as it continued to see its students lag behind their counterparts in other ethnic groups in literacy and math. The center provides instruction for multiple generations, including secondary, General Education Development (GED) and adult continuing education students, who will flourish under one roof and receive culturally appropriate education. (For more details on Itom Mahtawa’apo, click here.)
Samantha and Patricia are teachers at Educare Winnebago, a comprehensive early education center that helps children from low-income families close educational achievement gaps. The center is the first Educare in an American Indian community. Samantha and Patricia were named “Head Start Teachers of the Year” and had many positive things to say about the new school. They explained a unique feature of all Educare schools. Each student stays with the same team of three teachers from birth to age 3, and then he or she is moved to another team from ages 3 to 5. This means parents have the opportunity to really get to know the teachers and build a strong relationship. For children, this means they have consistency and a strong routine, which helps them as they develop. (To learn more about Educare Winnebago, click here.)
We spoke with Agnes, the director of the Yukon-Koyukuk Elder Assisted Living Facility (YKEALF). Five federally recognized Alaska Native tribes came together to build the facility in central Alaska: Nulato Tribe, Louden Tribe, Native Tribe of Koyukuk, Ruby Tribe and the Kaltag Tribe. The tribes needed a conveniently located facility for their elders, who otherwise would have to travel 150 miles to receive access to safe affordable housing, a subsistence diet, medical care and quality assisted living services. Agnes explained that the facility has turned into more than an assisted living facility and described it as a community center that is connecting generations. Community members visit to have lunch and talk with elders. (More information on YKEALF can be found here.)
All of these NMTC projects have created jobs and brighter futures for community members and have benefited communities as a whole.
This year, we also spoke with tribal leaders about the benefits of the NMTC program. Watch this short video to hear other benefits of the program.