Annie Sanford’s parents are Lena Blair Sanford and Dewayne Sanford, both from Tok. Her maternal grandparents are Mary Tom Tom Blair and William Blair of Snag, Yukon, Canada; her paternal grandparents are Laura Isaac Sanford of Tanacross and Walter Sanford of Chistochina. Annie’s hometown is Tok.

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“Normally I don’t volunteer myself to give speeches, but I felt it was important to express how important of a role Doyon Foundation has played in my higher education,” Annie shares as she takes the stage as the student speaker at Doyon Foundation’s Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic Calcutta reception in June. The annual golf classic raises money for the Morris Thompson Scholarship Fund, which honors the memory of the late Morris Thompson and awards scholarships to students exhibiting leadership, integrity and a commitment to excellence.

“There is a lot to take into account when it comes to higher education, and Doyon Foundation has helped take the financial burden off of my shoulders,” Annie explains. “I feel like Doyon Foundation is a third proud parent in my pursuit of a higher education. They stay involved, they provide encouragement, and they are genuinely happy to witness my educational journey.”

“I want to thank Doyon Foundation and their sponsors for supporting not only me but students across Alaska pursuing our educational dreams,” Annie concludes. See the full video of her speech on the Foundation YouTube channel.

Annie is a University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) student who plans to complete her associate’s degree and join the university’s radiologic technology program in 2018. It’s a competitive process; only a half-dozen or so of the top students are selected to enroll each year. “I’m improving every aspect of my application to be among the top six or seven,” she says.

Her goals including graduating from the radiologic technology program in 2020 and pursuing her career in Fairbanks. “I want to work to give back to the community that has given me so much,” says Annie, who hopes to work at the Chief Andrew Isaac Health Clinic or Fairbanks Memorial Hospital before continuing her studies to become an ultrasound technologist.

“Early on, in high school, I knew I wanted to help people medically and not just from your typical office cubicle,” Annie recalls. After high school, while she was trying to figure out what to do, it was a coworker who inspired Annie to go into radiology.

“Due to radiology not being commonly talked about, I wish to mentor future students who want to pursue radiology because I know I would have liked to have someone to talk to who already went through the process and could answer my questions,” she says.

For now, Annie advises other students to stay organized and keep motivated. “Using a planner and whiteboard are essential,” she says. “I highly recommend them.”

Jessica’s parents are the late Catherine Maki and the late Gordon Ruck; her grandparents are Nancy (Senungetuk) Felton, of Wales and Nome, and the late Willard Felton. Jessica’s hometown is Anchorage.

Jessica“Without Doyon Foundation’s support, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Jessica, a doctoral student in social welfare at the University of Washington. Doyon Foundation scholarships, including the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship, helped her pursue her bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my educational successes,” she says. In addition to completing research, writing and exams that will precede her dissertation, Jessica reviews journal articles in her field and advocates for social welfare policy. She volunteers in her children’s school, offers guest lectures at UW and the University of Alaska Anchorage, and plans to resume a role with the Alaska Native Dialogues on Racial Equity. She also serves as a co-president of the Native Organization of Indigenous Scholars.

“The stress of multiple demands can become overwhelming,” she acknowledges. “I’ve had to learn to limit what I take on.” Her advice to other students: Remember that persevering to Graduation Day takes more than going to class and cranking out papers.

“Do what brings you internal happiness and satisfaction, help others, always tend to your relationships. Stay connected to who you are and where you come from. Forgive. And always do the best you can.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Jessica who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

 

Jarynn’s parents are Lucille Stickman and the late John Cunningham II. Her maternal grandparents are the late Jessie Stickman and the late Donald Stickman; her paternal grandparents are Betty Cunningham and the late John Cunningham. Jarynn’s hometown is Palmer.

JarynnJarynn is a May 2017 graduate of Minnesota-based Century College, where she earned an associate’s degree in computer science. Her plans include enrolling in the fall in the College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science.

She says that being awarded a Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship through Doyon Foundation demonstrated that the Foundation is as supportive as family when it comes to seeing college students succeed: “The Foundation gave me the opportunity to fully invest my time into my education. I am very thankful.”

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Jarynn who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

Jarynn’s long-term plans include completing her bachelor’s degree in two years and then working in software development. She advises others to maintain perspective when it comes to potential setbacks on the way to earning a college degree.

“Our education journeys may seem daunting at first. But all our efforts will pay off in the long run. We’ll become a better version of ourselves,” she says.

Among her biggest challenges: Recognizing when it’s time to ask for emotional or academic support.

“I’ve learned that struggling is nothing to be ashamed of,” Jarynn says. “It’s OK to reach out for help. Balancing your priorities – school, work, family, health – is the key to being successful.”

Emily’s mother is Janice Joseph of Rampart; her grandmother is Jenny Joseph of Rampart and her grandfather is Arthur Joseph of Tanana. Emily’s father is Mark Sexton; her grandmother is Beverly Sexton and her grandfather is Bill Sexton, all from Fairbanks. Emily’s hometown is Fairbanks.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset“The biggest challenge I faced during my education has been distance from home,” says Emily, a Marquette University student in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “Getting over homesickness has been essential.”

Emily has had a Doyon Foundation scholarship in each semester. “Especially for a student attending college so far from Alaska, these generous scholarships truly help decrease the high cost of education,” says Emily, a current Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship recipient.

Named for the late president and chief executive of Doyon, Limited, the Morris Thompson Competitive Scholarship Fund has awarded nearly $400,000 over the years to students like Emily who share his commitment to excellence, leadership and integrity. The annual Morris Thompson Memorial Golf Classic held in June is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser to benefit these scholarships.

Emily’s goals include graduating in 2018 with degrees in accounting and political science before going on to become a certified public accountant and attending law school. She’s interning this summer at a Milwaukee investment company.

During the school year, Emily is involved in the Native American Student Association. She also volunteers as a reading tutor with the First Nations Studies Program in Milwaukee public schools. “It’s been rewarding,” she says. “Most of these students are first-generation college students like me, so I brought them on a tour of my campus. It was the first time many of them had been on a college campus or talked about attending.”

Her advice to students: Apply for scholarships, get involved early in student groups and make time to volunteer. “It’s been an incredible experience to serve as a mentor,” she says.

 

noahNoah Lovell, born in Fairbanks, Alaska, is the son of Sallie and Patrick Lovell, and the grandson of Lillian J. Evans and Joseph W. Burns. He is currently enrolled as a freshman at the University of Alaska Fairbanks pursuing a degree in business administration with a minor in Japanese.

Since the age of 15, Noah has worked as a Native tour guide on the Riverboat Discovery, where he shares how Alaska Natives have lived for generations. Noah, who is Japanese and Alaska Native, says he has always had an interest in cultures, particularly his own. He has been able to experience both cultures, growing up in Alaska and traveling to Japan on a summer exchange in high school.

Noah also enjoys stories from his father about his youth and his grandmother about their indigenous heritage. “I love going to different cultural events, listening to elders sing and dance, as well as being active in the festivities myself,” he says. “Surrounding yourself in a community of strong people is the best thing for anyone, and I’m happy our Alaska Native community is as strong as it is.”

As a Doyon Foundation fall 2016 Competitive Committee Choice scholarship recipient, Noah says, “The Foundation has helped me financially to further my education and has been instrumental with connecting me with others in the community. It’s shown me that there are groups and organizations that can help Native students achieve their goals.”

Choosing a major has been one of the biggest challenges Noah has faced in college so far. “College catapults you into the workforce and picking the right major that suits you and your interests is very important,” he says, adding that he overcame this challenge by reviewing his options and personal strengths before picking a field that was right for him. “I chose business because it’s a strong field and allows people to understand the business side of the world around us as well as enabling me to possibly start my own business.”

Speaking to his fellow students, Noah says, “Realize that success is for everyone, and never forget where you came from. Wherever you go in life, always take with you a strong work ethic, dedication towards your goals, and a willingness to learn new things.”

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Help Doyon Foundation support students like Noah – Pick. Click. Give. to Doyon Foundation when you fill out your 2017 PFD application!

Doyon Foundation student Nicole Smith, daughter of Nancy and John Smith, and granddaughter of Elsie Smith, and Anita and Michael Bolton, aspires to become a marketing manager in a large corporation or to start her own business. From Dexter, New York, Nicole will begin at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Oswego in the fall and study marketing.Nicole Smith

Along with looking for internships, “my plan is to cheer at Oswego State. I have cheered since I was 9 years old. I have always loved the sport and cannot wait to continue my career in college,” says Nicole, who was also on a lacrosse team throughout high school.

Nicole says her biggest challenge to overcome has been transitioning into college life, especially “leaving the only home I have ever known. Leaving my family will certainly not be easy, but I know we can do it.”

Fostering a close relationship with her father, a firefighter, Nicole volunteered at the fire department in her community as a junior firefighter. She had the opportunity to go on calls, help get equipment and learn more by attending a weekly training class.

“My father, also enrolled in the Nenana tribe, is a firefighter and that always inspired me to help people like he does and to be just like him,” Nicole says.

Eager to start her college career, Nicole says, “Doyon Foundation has been so helpful as they have been there by giving me the opportunity to apply for scholarships to help me as I advance to higher education; they are great supporters.”

To supplement her scholarship, Nicole also plans to enroll in a work-study program to help pay for her tuition.

Her advice to current and future students is to “never give up. I just graduated high school and this is my time to shine. Show the world, your school, your family what you can do. If you choose to attend college, do your best and never give up.”

Nicole plans to join clubs at college, and encourages others to “always push for the stars whether it’s school, work, clubs, sports or just simply meeting new people! Push as hard as you can with everything you do. Go for your dreams!”