Adam Becenti, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, has been named tribal liaison/cultural coordinator for the Cedar Bough Native American Program at Youth Villages Oregon — formerly the Christie School — in Marylhurst.

The program offers culturally responsive residential treatment for Native American youth and other young people who can benefit from a strong cultural or spiritual program. In his position, Becenti helps Native American youth connect or reconnect to their cultural and spiritual heritage in the program.

He also works with the program’s Native American Advisory Council led by Dr. John Spence.

From the clan of Red Running Into the Water, Becenti grew up on the border of the Navajo Tribal Nation in Gallup, N.M.

“Growing up, my grandfather taught me traditional Navajo culture and practice, giving me a strong foundation,” Becenti said. “I’m proud to be helping Native children and youth in this program and will be meeting with tribal leaders throughout Oregon and the Pacific Northwest to learn more about their needs and expectations for our services.”

Becenti has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and ethnic studies from the University of Colorado and a master’s degree in public policy with an emphasis on education policy from the University of Michigan.

He worked to recruit and retain Native American students for the University of Colorado and has diverse experience in Native American programs including College Horizons, United National Indian Tribal Youth and the Patty Iron Cloud National Native American Youth Initiative.

Youth Villages Oregon is a nonprofit organization that has been helping children and families live successfully in the state since 1859.

The organization provides intercept intensive in-home that helps children with emotional and behavioral problems by strengthening and restoring their families. Youth Villages Oregon also provides residential services on its Christie and Clackamas campuses and a transitional living program for young people who age out of mental health services.

Named one of the Top 50 Nonprofits to Work For by Nonprofit Times and Best Companies Group in 2010 and 2011, Youth Villages has been recognized by Harvard Business School and U.S. News & World Report, and was identified by the White House as one of the nation’s most promising results-oriented nonprofit organizations. For more information, visit

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