PHOENIX — Two young Arizona women will be honored as Champions of Change at a special White House ceremony Tuesday morning.
The ceremony, which will be broadcast live on the White House’s website at 6:30 a.m. Arizona time, will recognize young women for their courage and contributions to their community while appreciating their own unique leadership, according to a recent press release.
Avila was born in Mexico and moved to Arizona when she was just 11-years-old and eventually graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, according to a recent press release.
During the first open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act, Avila used her position as an organizer at Planned Parenthood to educate her community on the ACA and help families enroll for health insurance, according to the press release.
Avila has been advocating for change in her community since 2007, when she began fighting for the DREAM Act and Immigration Reform. She then took her skills and knowledge about the field to start a campaign about implementing comprehensive sexuality education in schools, which she is currently working on.
Avila is also a founding member of the Isac Amaya Foundation, an organization that focuses on raising awareness for higher education and raises money to award scholarships to low-income students and undocumented students, according to the press release.
Tachine is a young Navajo woman from Ganado, Arizona, located near Flagstaff. She is of the Náneesht’ézhí Táchii’nii clan, otherwise known as Zuni Red Running into Water, and was born for Tl’izilani, or the Many Goats clan, according to the press release.
She attended the University of Arizona, where she graduated with a doctorate in Higher Education and currently is a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center for Indian Education at Arizona State University, according to the press release.
She has been a part of Native SOAR — which stands for Student Outreach, Access, and Resiliency — a UofA college program where Native American graduate students and staff mentor Native American college students, according to its Facebook page. Those students then, according to the press release, turn their knowledge over to Native American high school students.
The other nine women honored are Asha Abdi of San Jose, California, Yesenia Ayala of Grinnell, Iowa, Meredith Boyce of Spartanburg, South Carolina, Rita Herford of Huron County, Michigan, Marissa Jennings of Washington, D.C., Faatimah Knight of Brooklyn, New York, Ashley McCray of Norman, Oklahoma, Swetha Prabakaran of Ashburn, Virginia, and Katie Prior of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.