May 2009

dahlDoyon Foundation student Bernice Dahl said working in the film industry has always been a dream of hers, but it seemed out of reach – until now. Dahl, also known by her screen name “Avu,” has performed in both theatre productions, as well as films. After earning a speaking part in Steven Spielberg’s “Into the West,” Dahl became eligible to join the Screen Actor’s Guild. She has since worked in several films as an extra, and plans to continue pursuing work in the film industry.

Dahl, who is originally from Beaver, Alaska and was raised in Fairbanks, is currently living in Albuquerque, NM, where she is attending the University of New Mexico (UNM) and pursuing a bachelor of fine arts in theatre, with an emphasis on acting. She previously attended the Institute of American Indian Arts, but transferred to UNM to pursue her bachelor’s degree.

“The biggest challenge for me has been the enormous population of the school itself. The student body is about 5,000, which I found extremely intimidating,” Dahl said. “When the feelings of intimidation would start to surface, I would think of the kids at home who might have an interest in working in film, and feel that I need to do this to show them that it can happen.”

Dahl was originally expecting to graduate in May 2009. However, for medical reasons, she had to withdraw from the spring semester. She plans to return to school for the fall semester and graduate in December 2009.

As a single mother, Dahl said funding support has been very necessary for her during her education.

Adult Learning Programs of Alaska is accepting applications for session three of the Rural Education for Adult Learners (REAL) GED program, which will take place August 16 – November 21, 2009. REAL offers individualized study plans, laptop computers, travel, room, board, materials and instruction at no charge.

The program is available to Alaska Natives living in a rural community within the Tanana Chiefs Conference/Doyon region. For more information, contact 866.452.6434 ext. 232, 907.452.6434 ext. 232 or, or visit .  Applications due June 1, 2009.

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The Graduate Horizons Program, held July 18 – 21, 2009 at the University of California Berkeley, is a four-day “crash course” for Native American, Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native and First Nations college students, master’s students or alumni to help prepare them for graduate school.

Complete program cost is $175 (includes tuition, room, meals, all materials and transportation to campus from the Oakland airport). Students are responsible for their own airfare, but substantial funds are available for travel and tuition assistance. For more information, visit or contact or 505.401.3854. Applications will be accepted on a space available basis until June 1, 2009.

Visit their website for more info.