SCF RAISE Program Celebrates New Partnerships

SCF RAISE Interns gather around John (JB) Heperi-Smith, Deputy Chairman of Ngati Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated.

Designed to develop leadership skills in Alaska Native and American Indian youth 14 – 19 years old, SCF’s RAISE program offers three separate sessions per year: summer, winter, and graduate programs. The RAISE 2018 summer session hired 64 interns. Interns worked in one of six project groups: academic achievers, heritage and traditions, college and careers, community development, health careers, and administrative support. Throughout the summer, interns work in several divisions across the organization. Working alongside employees gives perspective and an opportunity for students to gain experience in that field.

In preparation for adulthood and independent living, interns participate in a number of different trainings and activities relative to life skills. In addition to life skills and work experience, RAISE Interns learn team-building, mentorship, personal financial wellness, and portfolio development. They also learn different job application skills including what an employer is looking for in a reference, how to structure a resumé, and interactive interviewing.

This year, interns had a new opportunity to participate in the CITC Fabrication Laboratory. The lab is a digital fabrication resource center where interns use high-tech design programs, industrial-grade manufacturing machines and electronics and programing tools. CITC’s Fab Lab is unique in combining cutting edge educational tools with traditional Alaska Native cultural values and strengths around the development and adaptation of specialized technologies. Using tools and techniques that merge architecture and construction, interns bring traditional concepts and understanding to their experiments in programming, design, and fabrication.

Additionally, the Alaska Native Heritage Center partnered with the RAISE program to have a heritage and traditions group that offers training and education in a variety of areas. Interns acquire a wealth of information about the heritage of Alaska Native cultures while developing a deeper understanding of their own culture and identity.

The development of the next generation of leaders is a priority of SCF leadership. In support of this, Interns spent a day with SCF President/CEO Dr. Katherine Gottlieb. The day included a bus ride to Seward where they toured the Alaska SeaLife Center and received an educational classroom experience. Additionally, at the end of July, Interns went on a three-day camping trip to Spirit Lake. During this time, the interns had the opportunity to work on team building and spend time with SCF’s President/CEO and Board of Directors.

With the completion of RAISE, students are better prepared to enter the work world and have an increased understanding of writing, job application, and professional development skills. SCF is committed to guiding Alaska Native youth on their journey to adulthood and career success through RAISE and other related programs.

by Shamika Andrew

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