Geoffrey Kie is from Laguna Pueblo and is a graduate of Del Norte High School in Albuquerque, NM.  Geoff, recently completed his Sophomore year at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ.  Through the SPA III program, Geoff is interning at the Leadership Institute.  He completed the SPA I program with this year's class by serving as our social media person.  Check out the Facebook page he created for the Summer Policy Academy.  Currently, he is working on developing a template for the Leadership Institute's newsletter and interviewing stakeholders to include in his first edition.  If you have a story, update, or interesting news to share, please send him a note through the Summer Policy Academy Facebook page.  We are thankful for Geoff's creative approaches during his internship with the Leadership Institute.  Also, if you are considering going to Northern Arizona University, make sure you contact Geoff. 


Summer Policy Academy (SPA) is a Leadership Institute program designed for NM High School juniors and rising seniors . SPA convenes students for intensive sessions that focus on leadership, public policy, and community issues.   The training that SPA students receive equips these youth to become advisors of policy within their respective communities.

There are four sections to the SPA program and students are encouraged to participate in all four years.  They include:

SPA I: Four week program that focuses on indigenous issues at the Tribal, State, National and International levels.  Two weeks are spent on the Santa Fe Indian School campus and two weeks are spent implementing community service projects in their respective communities.

SPA II: Second year students spend up to two weeks at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University studying policy issues related to education, language, environment and health.  Students then travel to Washington DC to deliver their position papers to their Congressional delegation.

SPA III: Staff of the Summer Policy Academy assist students that have completed year II by placing them in internships in our local communities and with our program partners.

SPA IV: This program is currently under development.  It will be set up to work with a select group of SPA graduates and expose them to international communities through community-based learning experiences, cultural exchanges, conferences, and community service initiatives.  

The short and long term outcomes of SPA include the following:

• Increased knowledge of Tribal community issues • Increased knowledge of public policy (federal and state) • Knowledge of the structure of Tribal, state, federal and local governments • Student/peer group networking • Intergenerational networking • Exposure to role models/professional mentors

• Increased youth participation in school governments • Increased participation in Tribal/community leadership and/or community service organizations • Increased youth participation in off-reservation leadership organizations • Increased skill-based competencies (writing, reading, critical thinking, public speaking)