Doyon Foundation hosted its 2013 scholarship award ceremony on September 6 in Fairbanks. Students, staff and supporters gathered for the ceremony, which took place at the Doyon Industrial Facility cafeteria.Image

During the ceremony, the Foundation announced it is awarding $199,000 in scholarships to 233 students this fall. The scholarships include 157 $800 basic scholarships for full-time students, 45 $400 basic scholarships for part-time students, and 31 competitive scholarships ranging from $2,500 – $5,000.

Last year, the Foundation awarded 18 competitive scholarships totaling $68,000. This year, the Foundation nearly doubled the amount awarded to $110,500, and presented competitive scholarships to an additional 13 recipients, who will receive half of the award for the fall semester and the remainder next spring.

“We’re so pleased to be able to award these scholarships, and are so thankful to our donors for their support to make these scholarships possible,” said Doris Miller, Foundation executive director.

The event featured a welcome and introductions by Miller and Foundation Board President Lanien Livingston, who gave special acknowledgement to the Foundation’s generous individual and corporate donors. The Foundation also recognized the competitive and basic scholarship recipients, and recipients in attendance had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the audience.

Among the recipients was student speaker Sharon Hildebrand, who is originally from Nulato and was raised by her grandmother the late Ellen Peters. Hildebrand shared about her experience as a single mother and moving to Fairbanks, where she enrolled for her first year of college, but dropped out and started working full-time to support her son.

Several years later, while working for Gana-A’Yoo, Hildebrand mentioned her dreams of becoming a lawyer to her husband. With his encouragement, she began working toward her goals, starting with a college degree, as she believes that education is the key. During this time, Hildebrand realized that she was encouraging her children to seek an education and found she can be a role model for her children while pursuing her own goals.

Hildebrand also stressed the importance of knowing your culture and where your people came from. “The further you go back, the further forward you will go,” she said.

Hildebrand, who is a 2013 Morris Thompson Memorial Scholarship recipient and a senior at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Alaska Native studies with a concentration in Alaska Native law, government and politics. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree, Hildebrand and family plan to move out of state next fall as she pursues a law degree.

Hildebrand thanked Doyon, Limited and Doyon Foundation, as well as the many mentors who have helped her along the way. “We each possess a unique talent; you must be willing to tap into it. There are so many willing to help as long as you are willing to step forward,” she said.Image

Doyon Foundation awards scholarships to Doyon, Limited shareholders and their children who are accepted to an accredited college, university, technical or vocational school, and who meet GPA and credit load requirements. Applications are accepted three times per year: March 15 for the summer semester, April 15 for the fall semester, and November 15 for the spring semester.

For more information on Doyon Foundation and the scholarship program, please visit www.doyonfoundation.com or contact 907.459.2048 or foundation@doyon.com.