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May 29, 2013

Nation’s Leading Native-American Youth Development Camp to Celebrate 17th Year with New Workshops and Support of Actor Martin Sheen 

NativeVision, a sports-based youth development initiative for American-Indian children, run by Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health in partnership with the NFL Players Association, will host its most ambitious annual “Sports and Lifeskills Camp” to date in Shiprock, NM, on the Navajo Nation, June 2-4, 2013. This year, NativeVision’s 17th summer camp will serve more than 800 Native-American youths in grades 3 to 12 from more than 25tribes.  Campers will converge on the grounds of Shiprock High School to learn sports and life skills from nearly 50 professional and collegiate athletes.  In addition, award-winning actor, Martin Sheen, will lead an acting workshop and direct a youth performance for all campersExperts from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health will coordinate a variety of sports and youth enrichment activities—with a focus on healthy lifestyles and education promotion. 

At the three-day camp, highly visual and engaging activities, free of charge to all campers, will include:

“The Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health has a 30-year history of working with tribes to overcome major health, social and economic disparities affecting Native children and families. NativeVision gathers talented volunteers at the top of their field in sports, education and the performing arts to promote the emotional, mental and physical assets of Native youth and their communities.  It is life-changing for all involved,” says Allison Barlow, deputy director of Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health and co-founder of NativeVision.   

American Indians and Alaska Natives have the poorest health and the lowest economic and education status of anyone in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health, they experience large barriers to medical and preventive health care.  American Indian youth younger than18 have the highest mortality rates and the largest burden of suicide, alcohol and drug use, and school-dropout rates compared to other American youths.

Martin Sheen joined ranks with NativeVision this year after learning about the effort from Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health’s Director, Mathu Santosham, MD, MPH.   Mr. Sheen will be assisted in conducting the acting workshops at the NativeVision camp by actor Vaz Santosham,  Mathu Santosham’s son.  Vaz Santosham acted with Mr. Sheen in the film, “Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain,” due to be released later this year.  Sheen was also the keynote speaker at the NativeVision gala which raised funds for the NativeVision camp earlier this year.  At the gala, Sheen said, “As a nation, we’ve really forgotten about our Native-American population. Our citizens on the reservation have been totally neglected for so very long that we’re unaware of them. NativeVision is a wonderful organization focusing on not just the athletic abilities of these young people, but bringing together the best athletes who can relate to these kids and inspire greatness.”

For more information about The NativeVision Sports and Life Skills Camp or to participate, please visit: http://www.nativevision.org/Native_Vision_Camp/NativeVisionCamp.html

Camp participants are invited to share their experiences on Twitter using
the hashtag #NVcamp2013.

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Natalie Wood-Wright at 410-614-6029 or nwoodwri@jhsph.edu.