When Doyon Foundation scholarship recipient Raymond Pitka Jr. looks at Alaska’s youth, he sees potential and possibilities, waiting to be uncovered and developed.

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“No one knows the full reach of a person, and that in itself is exciting and sometimes sad. I often think about the Boston bombings and the people who had died there, especially an 8-year old boy. We won’t know this boy’s full reach in life. Perhaps he would have brought many great things to existence had he lived,” Raymond shares.

“That’s how I see youths in Alaska, and supporting them through the Foundation is one great way in achieving that.”

As a Doyon Foundation scholarship recipient, Raymond understands the importance of that support. “I feel greatly honored to be a recipient of a Morris Thompson competitive scholarship. It has definitely allowed me to focus more on school work rather than worry about financial issues,” said Raymond, who received a $3,000 Morris Thompson undergraduate award for the 2013 – 2014 school year.

The scholarship is helping Raymond attend Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado, where he will graduate in April 2015 with a degree in accounting. He plans to attend graduate school to obtain a master’s degree and become a certified public accountant.

Raymond shares that the biggest challenge he has faced during his education is being hard-of-hearing. “However, with support from my doctor and family as well as friends, I have no trouble with my learning abilities at this moment,” he says.

“There are going to be times in life when you are feeling super down and out, but that doesn’t mean you should give up so easily,” he says. “The road to destination is often the adventure everyone is looking for and they missed it because they’re too focused on the goal far in the future. Take each day at a time is my philosophy.”

Originally from Fairbanks, Raymond is the son of Raymond Pitka Sr. and Debra Pitka, and the grandson of Sam and Elizabeth Pitka, and Donald and Marie Head. He has two brothers, Jonothan Head and Christopher Pitka, and an older sister, Shirley Pitka.

“I have always relied on family for support. They’re always there for me, through the thick and thin,” Raymond says.

Read more student profiles and success stories on the Doyon Foundation website.