This is the third in a series of profiles on the 2015 Giraffe Award winners. Each Tuesday leading up to the Champions for Children Event, we will feature a profile on a 2015 Giraffe Award Winner and showcase how they “stick out their neck” for Maine children, youth and families. This week, we are pleased to introduce you to Nakia Dana, Education Resource Coordinator for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township.
As the Education Resource Coordinator for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, Nakia Dana has made it her mission to ensure that the Passamaquoddy students have the resources they need to seek the future they desire. From working with middle school students on high school choice to connecting graduating seniors with military recruiters and college admission counselors, Dana advocates for her students no matter the obstacle.
In her position, Dana is willing to help any student or family access information and resources that help them achieve their full potential. As a problem solver by nature, Dana takes immediate action to eliminate barriers created by poverty, addiction and unemployment so that youth in Indian Township have access to opportunities that lead to future success. Whether that means driving students to Bangor to meet with the closest military recruiting office or working with local law enforcement to develop effective solutions for kids in legal trouble, Dana sees the long-term value of investing in these kids.
“I hope that my work helps to ensure that Passamaquoddy children have an opportunity to fulfill their potential,” said Dana.
On one occasion, Dana event went to the Indian Township School Board to advocate for approval introduce a school baseball to Indian Township. She saw the social value in creating additional opportunities that would nurture youth development. However, her advocacy and support did not stop after the team approved. She proceeded to help the team secure uniforms, assisted in some practices and supported the team by attending games.
One thing is clear: Dana approaches her job as part of a larger opportunity to truly make a difference in her community.
For Dana, the Giraffe Award is both an honor and a humbling experience. The way she sees it, she is just doing her job to make sure the Passamaquoddy youth have the best chance at future success.
Nakia Dana will be awarded the 2015 Individual Giraffe Award for her work on October 27, 2015 at the Champions for Children Event. Dana demonstrates the spirit of the Giraffe Awards in her comprehensive understanding of the challenges that can impede a child’s future success and her repeated willingness to find creative and effective solutions.
Don’t forget to join us for the 2015 Champions for Children Event to learn more about Dana’s work.