For Immediate Release
June 2, 2020
Citizen recognized as one of organization’s ’25 Under 25’
Career goal for McHenry is to become lawyer
Darren DeLaune/Multimedia Specialist
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — United Indian National Tribal Youth (UNITY) has selected their 2020 ‘25 Under 25’ class and one of honorees is Muscogee (Creek) citizen Claudia McHenry.
Unity’s website said its mission is to foster the spiritual, mental, physical and social development of American Indian and Alaskan Native youth and to help build a strong, unified and self-reliant Native America through greater youth involvement.
McHenry said she did not see herself as a ‘25 under 25’ awardee, but was excited when her name was among the nominees.
“I am honored that I was selected,” McHenry said. “I was shocked that I got the notification. I was not expecting that at all.”
McHenry is a recent graduate from University of Central Oklahoma [UCO] with a degree in business administration and legal studies.
“My career goal is to become a lawyer,” she said.
McHenry, who is the Speaker for the Mvskoke Nation Youth Council said at first that she did not want to be involved with the MNYC or the organization it belonged to, the Mvskoke Nation Youth Services.
“If it wasn’t for my mother and [Director of MNYS] Nancy [Mason], I don’t think I would be on the council,” she said.
McHenry enjoys MNYC because of the impact it is having for youth and future generations.
“I liked what we were doing at our council and I loved being involved,” she said. “We were being listened to and what we said was being valued.”
Mason said McHenry has invested a lot of time into MNYC.
“It has been pretty exciting to see her grow from a shy young lady to the advocate she is now,” Mason said. “She is very strong and is one of the people who is helping to keep our culture alive.”
Mason said she was ecstatic upon hearing that McHenry was one of the awardees for this year’s ‘25 Under 25.’
“Knowing Claudia, she is deserving of this award,” Mason said. “She is passionate about her culture and our youth council and wants to see it progress.”
McHenry said her successes are not her own, but also attributed to several people that have helped her become who she is today.
“My successes, I credit my family, the (Muscogee (Creek)) Nation and my community.” McHenry said. “They are the reason I push so hard and try to do my best.”
McHenry is the daughter of Arlene Isham and Joe McHenry. She belongs to Tulmochusee Tribal Town and is of the Hotvlkvlke (Wind Clan).