Deana Scott, Raving CEO and Notah Begay III, Founder of the Notah Begay III Foundation talk about the inspiration behind the non-profit and how it has stayed true to its core mission after 15+ years serving Native children
In today’s interview, we sat down with Notah Begay III, Founder of the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation. Many of our readers have heard us talk about the NB3 Foundation and even more, have supported their work through fundraising events like the Native Strong Comedy Slam & Jam.
As the NB3 Foundation team enters an exciting and energetic time getting back to their core mission, let’s hear from their Founder on how the non-profit grew to what it is today.
The NB3 Foundation was founded in 2005, inspired by a soccer program developed by Notah’s father, Notah Begay, Jr, during Notah’s youth. This grassroots initiative had one goal in mind – give Notah and his brother, plus 15 to 20 Native urban families, an activity to put their energy into. Through this experience, Notah learned, “If you give kids a chance to put their time and energy and effort into something that is positive, they will benefit. We all benefitted.”
At its start, the Notah Begay III Foundation’s purpose was simple – provide sports programming to the Pueblo of San Felipe and surrounding pueblos and reservations in New Mexico addressing the health disparities that Native kids face. As the NB3 Foundation has grown, Notah is proud that these three principles remain at the core of what they do:
- The organization continues to adhere to its basic fundamental principle, “We serve kids, on reservations, in our communities.”
- 95% of the Notah Begay III Foundation’s team members live in the communities they serve.
- The Foundation incorporates a cultural component into everything they do. It is predicated on an indigenous model – based around cultural systems, beliefs and, “Who we are historically as Native people.”
The above is why the NB3 Foundation has maintained a level of authenticity, trust, and buy-in from community leaders, parents and, most importantly, Native youth. When you hear young leaders like Demetrius Payne call themselves a “Foundation Kid,” you can truly see the lasting impact their programs have on future generations.
As Notah states, “We cannot lose our connection with our people because that is inherently our strength.”
As always, we thank you for your support of the Notah Begay III Foundation through events and fundraisers such as the Native Strong Comedy Slam & Jam and Raving conferences. See below how you can help the Foundation this summer.
How You Can Support
The sixth annual Native Strong Comedy Slam & Jam Fundraiser is happening right now – bid or donate by July 26!
If you’re a child of the eighties like Notah, you want to take home a piece of this memorabilia! All of the funds raised go straight to the work of the Notah Begay III Foundation. As a non-profit organization, upwards of 85% of all proceeds at the Foundation go directly into their programs and services. You will make an impact.
Deana and Brady Scott