Founder & CEO Dr. Anthony Newkirk is a Native American & African American 10-year (1989-2000) USAF ammunition specialist veteran. Also formerly incarcerated (3 years in prison for DUI 2005-2008) and upon release achieved a Bachelor’s degree In Information Technology from Ottawa University in 2009, an MBA from Keller Graduate in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Information Technology from Capella University in 2019 and a Doctorate in Healthcare Administration from Virginia University of Lynchburg, an HBCU, in August 2023.
He is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community, an Akimel O’odham tribal member (Tohono O’odham & Hopi lineage as well) that was born Chicago, Illinois and now resides in Phoenix, Arizona
Waylon Pahona Jr. Hopi Tewa/ Maricopa grew up on the Hopi Reservation. Waylon is well known for transforming his life and being the founder/creator of Healthy Active Natives (HAN’s). The HAN’s social networking group on Facebook currently has over 76,000 HAN members nationally and internationally. When creating Healthy Active Native’s in 2012, Waylon’s vision was for HAN’s to be a space where Natives welcome all fitness levels and use positive reinforcement to pick each other up when it seems impossible to make positive changes. In 2013 Waylon also received the Healthy Innovation award by IHS Indian Health Services for his social media group. Waylon is also an Ambassador to Tanka Bar jerky.
Johanna Corpeno is of the Maya people and was born in Southern California. Johanna completed 200 hr. Indigenous Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training and became certified through Native Strength Revolution. Johanna Also has a deep-rooted passion for working with youth and has begun her certification in Vinyasa (trauma informed) Yoga for Youth. She has worked on deepening her mindset with a holistic approach, bringing the body, mind, and spirit together to form wellness. Johanna graduated from her program at the Southwest Institute of Healing arts in February 2021 as a Holistic Nutrition Wellness Practitioner, Life Coach, and Fitness Nutrition Educator- (Certified through NASM).
Dominique Ann Lopez
Akimel O’otham and Pascua Yaqui
District 5 Vah Ki
Associate of Arts 2017
Bachelor of Social Work 2020
Master of Social Work 2022, Advance Standing Direct Practice with an emphasis on Substance Use Disorder Therapy /Treatment
As an emerging Akimel O’otham Social Worker from Gila River Indian Community, I intend to develop innovative solutions to address the Fentanyl crisis affecting our native communities. I hope to utilize both holistic modalities and evidence-based interventions to help others struggling with substance use disorders, achieve improved mental health well-being and aid in the healing journey. As a native American Clinician/Therapist I bring lived experience with how to recover from SUD’s and how to take your life back from addiction using therapeutic interventions. I value the client-centered approach in “meeting the individual where they are” and the importance of recognizing people’s dignity, autonomy and worth with respect. The foundation of social work is to promote individuals’ capacity and opportunity to change. As an Elder, Mother and Grandmother, I have cultivated inner strength to overcome any obstacle the impedes my path in a good way. I have a sincere commitment to my community, the Gila River Indian Community and its members residing within the community and in the urban areas and all other Indigenous peoples.
"We are blessed with a group of great team members - all of whom are focused on serving each and every student that walks through our door, with nothing short of life changing training."