Working for Capacity Builders, Inc. has been a blessing for me. I made a career change two years ago and I have not regretted my decision because of the outstanding people I work with and the meaningful work we do here at CBI. When people ask me “What does CBI do?” I answer with “What do we not do!” I start by sharing that our name, Capacity Builders, is powerful. If you looked up in the dictionary what capacity building means, you would read something like this “the conceptual approach to development that focuses on understanding the obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations from realizing their developmental goals while enhancing the abilities that will allow them to achieve measurable and sustainable results.” That is what we do!
We do that through programs like Navajo Youth Builders. This project includes comprehensive youth development programming and community service learning. As a certified Wyman Teen Outreach Program© replication partner, Capacity Builders Inc. works to reduce teen pregnancy, course failure, school dropout, and school suspensions in high needs San Juan County and Navajo Nation secondary schools. We have trained Wyman Teen Outreach Program (TOP®) Prevention Educator’s in every middle school and high school in Central Consolidated School District. The responses we get from the teens are just phenomenal.
Just a few weeks ago, CBI was federally funded to run a Drug Free Communities Program (DFCP) in the Window Rock and Ft. Defiance area of the reservation. This represents another example of our diverse capacity building initiatives. DFCP is a collaborative of dedicated volunteers, schools, health and cultural practitioners, and civic leaders who will be working together to stop the emerging threat of youth drug and alcohol abuse on the Navajo Nation. We intend to use our influence and federal grant funds to put a stop to the hundreds of drug traffickers who travel through our reservation’s major highways – and we will dedicate these same resources and endurance in supporting the merchants in reservation border towns to stop selling alcohol and products used for inhalants to our underage youth and intoxicated family members. We will further call on local educators, law enforcement, and parents to step up into action so that alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants will no longer be abused in what is supposed to be a “dry” community.
I could share so many more programs, projects, and initiatives of CBI that are currently going on or in our vision, but I will end by saying that my passion to work for our young people is what motivates me. Working with today’s youth can sometimes be an exhausting, thankless job that we may never get to see the end results of our labor; however, I choose to work for our youth because there’s a huge need, it’s rewarding, it’s a learning experience, it’s never boring, and it’s worthwhile!