Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Employment Program applications available

February 28, 2018

(L to R) Cherokee Nation citizen and 2017 Summer Youth Employment Program participant Madison Shoemaker visits with Zomac School of Music owner Jeffrey Jones.(L to R) Cherokee Nation citizen and 2017 Summer Youth Employment Program participant Madison Shoemaker visits with Zomac School of Music owner Jeffrey Jones.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – The Cherokee Nation is now accepting applications for its Summer Youth Employment Program, which each year provides valuable work experience to hundreds of Native youth.

Applications for the employment program are available at any of the 11 Cherokee Nation Career Services offices and are due by April 20. The six-week program kicks off June 11 and ends July 20, with participants working 40-hour weeks and earning $7.25 per hour.  

“The Summer Youth Employment Program continues to be extremely beneficial for Cherokee youth who are trying to determine what career path they might like to take,” Cherokee Nation Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said. “Through the Summer Youth Employment Program, participants have an opportunity to learn many of the skills they will need in the workforce through hands-on experiences, all while earning a paycheck.”

To qualify for the employment program, youth ages 16-24 must be a citizen of a federally recognized tribe and reside within the Cherokee Nation’s 14-county jurisdiction. Cherokee Nation funds the employment program, and participants may be placed in a Cherokee Nation department or, with the tribe’s assistance, could find work in a public school, library or private business.

“Cherokee Nation and the tribe’s business arm, Cherokee Nation Businesses, continue to grow and diversify not only here in northeast Oklahoma but across the country. Because of that growth, it’s to the Cherokee Nation’s benefit to train up the next generation of employees through the Summer Youth Employment Program,” Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “Whether these young men and women later become employees of the tribe or find their careers elsewhere in the public and private sectors, it’s rewarding to know we will have given them the tools they need for success.”

Applications are also being taken through April 20 for the Summer Youth Leadership Intern Program, which provides young adults an opportunity to become familiar with Cherokee Nation government and administrative functions. Only about a dozen Cherokee Nation citizens ages 18-21 will be selected during the competitive application process, which includes an interview. The program begins June 4 and ends July 27.

Applicants for the internship program may apply at any Career Services office. Among other requirements, applicants for the leadership program must reside in the tribe’s 14-county jurisdiction and have a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the current school year. Two letters of recommendation from school administrators, a school counselor and/or former employers are also necessary.

For a list of Cherokee Nation Career Service office locations, visit http://www.cherokee.org/Services/Career/OfficeLocations.aspx.

For more information on the Cherokee Nation Summer Youth Employment Program or the Summer Youth Leadership Intern Program, including eligibility criteria for each, call 918-453-5555.