Urban Native Education Alliance was founded in 2008 to engage all generations to serve and empower Native youth through education, culture, and tradition.
Elders Advisory Council
Jerrilyn Hamley (Turtle Mountain Chippewa)
Mathew Warbonnett Jr.
Sarah Sense Wilson (Oglala) LMHC, SUDP, WSGCC-II, Urban Native Education Alliance (Chair)
Sarah Sense-Wilson (Oglala) serves as the elected Chair for the Urban Native Education Alliance (UNEA). Sarah is committed to strengthening our urban Native community through tireless advocacy, organizing, and networking both within the Native community and greater King County area. Central to Sarah’s values is student voice, "As an organization we need to be cognizant of its purpose at all times, we are here to serve the academic, social, emotional, cultural, and spiritual needs of our Native children". Collaborating, consulting and sharing in decision making with students supports our emphasis on being student centered.
Sarah’s educational background includes a B.A. in Political Science, UW 1999, Chemical Dependency License 2004, and she completed her MA degree in Applied Psychology from Antioch University in 2010. Sarah is a Washington State licensed Mental Health Counselor, and a certified Problem Gambling Counselor. She has worked in the chemical dependency field for over 19 years, specializing in both family and couples counseling. Sarah is currently employed with a local tribe as a Problem Gambling Coordinator.
Sarah and her partner Mark Peltier have one daughter who is enrolled at North Dakota State University Doctorate in Indigenous Health program. Sarah’s most important role is grandmother “Unci” to her ‘Takoja’ grandson Waylin. Sarah enjoys her multiple volunteer roles and is highly motivated to improve academic and cultural enrichment experiences for our urban Native youth. Sarah believes both cultural knowledge and education are vital to strengthen and build the future for our urban Native community.
Sarah is recipient of the University of Washington MAP Distinguished Alumni Award (2016), Pramila Jayapal ‘Community Builder’ (2018), Award, Na’ah Illahee ‘Community Leadership’ Award (2016), and the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee ‘Jeri Ware’ Educational Advocacy Award (2020) and Seattle Indian Health Board Adeline Garcia ‘Community Service’ Award 2022.
Lenelle Jenkins she/her (Unangax), Treasurer
Lenelle Jenkins, Unangax̂ (she/her) is an advocate and healthcare professional from Seattle, Washington. With over two decades of experience in healthcare, she is dedicated to providing exceptional patient care and creating positive change in her community.
Lenelle actively supports women's rights, Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), and Universal Healthcare, working to promote equality and social justice. For five years, she volunteered at the Aurora Commons, offering vital support to Seattle's unhoused neighbors and uplifting those in need.
In her free time, Lenelle finds solace in camping, hiking, and gardening, connecting with nature and finding inspiration. Proud of her Unangax̂, Alaskan Native heritage, she embraces her cultural roots through arts, music, and traditions, fostering a deeper understanding of herself and a strong sense of belonging.
Lenelle's commitment to community service extends to her involvement with the CSA (ClearSky Academy), where she volunteers alongside her daughter, Jazell. As a chaperone, she accompanied students on transformative trips to Washington, DC, creating educational experiences and lasting memories.
Lenelle Jenkins is an inspiring advocate and healthcare professional, leaving a lasting legacy of compassion, dedication, and positive change in healthcare, her community, and her Alaskan Native heritage. Her unwavering commitment to making a difference continues to inspire and uplift others.
Paula Matta-Marroquin (she/ella) (Mapuche Peoples)
I am the daughter of Chilean political refugees who have instilled in me the importance of community engagement and to fight for human rights. As a single mother of two beautiful smart young ladies I have instilled in them to be caring and supportive of others. That is why I am honored to be part of the UNEA board. I believe in the importance of our youth to be able to get an education without barriers. I am also a true believer in having a safe peaceful place to learn and to engage with each other. My beliefs and values align with that of UNEA. I look forward to helping this program grow and in supporting our Native American youth community and Elders. Muchas Gracias, Paula Matta-Marroquin