Fort Gibson Girl Going To The White House As 'Champion Of Change'
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma - A Fort Gibson teenager received a special honor from Washington Friday.
Cierra Fields was just named one of the country's Champions of Change.
And this weekend, she'll be honored at a special ceremony.
We caught up with 14-year-old Cierra Fields while she was getting her hair styled. It wasn't for a dance or a school formal, but for a date with some of the nation's top leaders in Washington, D.C.
"They're wanting to highlight the hope and the change that is going on through students," said her mother, Terri Fields.
Cierra has been named one of the five Native American Champions of Change, by the White House.
"[I'm] very, very proud, because when you realize there was hundreds of applicants across Indian country," Terri said.
The program recognizes Americans all across the country who do extraordinary things in their communities. Every week, a group is selected to come to White House. Cierra is the youngest Native American Youth Leader to be picked, and she's the only one from Oklahoma.
"I'm really excited. I've always wanted to go," Cierra said. "This will help me build up my platform, and help get my message out, not just to the Cherokees, but all over."
It's that platform that got her selected. She's helped organize a number of programs in her community, and was named the Cherokee Nation's Distinguished Spirit of Life Award Winner.
"I guess I'm just kind of a restless person, always looking for what I can do, what I can help improve, and who I can help," Cierra said.
But her real passion is the work she does with the tribe's Cancer Control Program. Cierra is a melanoma survivor, and raises awareness by traveling to schools and hospitals.
"If I can just help one person, it means I've made a difference," Cierra said.
In Washington, Cierra will meet with tribal leaders who help shape polices that affect the Native American population.
Cierra will also serve for the next two years on the first ever National Native Youth Advisory board.
"I hope she leans that her voice does count, I hope she walks away knowing they are listening," Terri said.
Once Cierra returns home, she'll begin work on a new project called the Native Youth Summit.
It's a program aimed at teaching students how our government works and encouraging them to be more active in their community.