Leroy ‘Buster’ Silva

Con Alma Health Foundation has announced that this year’s hero of health is Leroy “Buster” Silva, community coordinator for Notah Begay III Foundation.
The NB3 Foundation is a national, Native-led nonprofit in Santa Ana Pueblo that supports and funds Native-driven, culturally centered programs and provides opportunities for Native youth to live healthy, active lives.
“We are honored to recognize Leroy for making a significant difference in the lives of Native youth,” said Dolores E. Roybal, Con Alma’s executive director.
Simone Duran, program coordinator at NB3F, nominated Silva for being “a passionate leader who loves to help communities create positive changes to live healthy, strong and resilient.”
In her nomination letter, she wrote that he led a unique initiative with nine organizations to increase the number of Native American youth participating in physical activity and sports in Albuquerque.
“There isn’t a day where he doesn’t have a new idea of how to make better connections and include communities’ voices, no matter their background,” Duran wrote. “He has created his own movement where he shares stories from all over Indian Country about health and fitness.”
Silva’s philosophy is that everyone has an obligation to protect and nurture the wellbeing of communities.
“As a team member at the Notah Begay III Foundation, I have been able to use my experience to rally community partners around one common goal — to create more opportunities for Native American youth via physical activity, healthy nutrition, youth development and cultural connections — so that they can live happy and fulfilled lives,” said Silva, from Laguna Pueblo.
“Da’wa’eh to all to my family, friends and mentors: When I shine, you shine.”
For more than 10 years, Con Alma has recognized people who diligently work to improve the health of New Mexicans, and contributed to the nonprofit of the awardee’s choice.
This year Con Alma will donate $1,000 to the New Mexico Autism Society on Silva’s behalf. He chose the organization in honor of his late sister LeeAnn Silva, who advocated for people with autism after her 14-year-old son was diagnosed at a young age.
For more information on this year’s nominees, visit: https://conalma.org/2020-hero-of-health/.