Noah 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.”