159_MT_Rebekah_FB-IN‘I want to work on stories that are inclusive and meaningful’

We’d like to introduce you to one of our amazing Morris Thompson competitive scholarship recipients: Rebekah Hartman. Even though we are unable to hold the Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic scholarship fundraiser this year, we still want to highlight our 2019 – 2020 Morris Thompson students and honor their hard work and achievements.

A University of Alaska student graduating in 2021, Rebekah Hartman is the daughter of Michael and Angela Hartman. Her maternal grandparents are Alice and Rudy Demientieff of Holy Cross. Rebekah’s hometown is Wasilla. 

When Rebekah Hartman discovered the award-winning animated children’s program “Steven Universe,” a world opened up to her.

“Those are the types of shows I want to work on,” she said. The Cartoon Network adventure series tells the story of friends protecting their own kind in a fictionalized world. “Growing up, I did not really know anything about LGTTQ+ people — I thought they were strange. It was shows like ‘Steven Universe’ that made me realize I was wrong.”

Rebekah has earned Doyon Foundation scholarships throughout her college years as she pursues a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

“What attracts me to animation is that, first of all, it’s beautiful and second is the impact that animated stories can have,” she said. “I want to work on stories that are meaningful and inclusive.”

An active volunteer focused on projects to benefit Alaska Native people, Rebekah served as student club secretary of the Alaska Native Social Workers Association in the 2019 – 2020 school year. The UAF group’s purpose includes service to others and promoting awareness of Alaska Native cultures in the state. At the winter holidays, Rebekah helped make greeting cards for the Fairbanks Native Association Elder Program. She has volunteered with First Alaskans Institute, an Anchorage-based public policy and research group, and with the Elders and Youth Conference sponsored by Alaska Federation of Natives.

She hopes other students will be attentive to mental health, especially if interest in school or self confidence starts to slip. “What I’ve found helpful to address these emotions is going to counseling,” she said. “It helps clear my mind and to understand myself better.”

Rebekah plans to return to UAF in the fall to complete her bachelor’s degree and then attend art school to earn a master’s degree in animation.

“I want to work on a show that includes Indigenous people,” she said. “We are constantly forgotten in television and when we are included, there are usually stereotypes.”

Among her favorite animated series is “Molly of Denali,” a first-of-its kind children’s show whose main character is an Alaska Native person. “My goal,” Rebekah said, “is to create meaningful stories for people to watch.”

Named in honor of the late Morris Thompson, former president and CEO of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Scholarship, awarded by Doyon Foundation, has helped more than 200 students forward their education. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic raises money for this competitive scholarship fund. While the event itself is not happening this year, we still welcome your support! You may make a secure online donation on our website or mail a check to Doyon Foundation, 615 Bidwell Ave., Suite 101, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701. To direct your donation to the Morris Thompson scholarship fund, simply note “Morris Thompson scholarship fund” in the notes section of the online form or on the memo line of your check. Thank you for supporting our students!