A residential Peace Corps-type program - Tribal Civilian Community Corps - is coming to Nenana. The Tanana Chiefs Conference will run the program formed by a $1.5 million grant from the Corporation for National Service to help young Native adults get on-the-job experience while working on community projects in Interior Athabascan villages. After completing the 10-month program, participants will receive $4,750 educational grants to use for college or vocational school. Three other Native American tribes will have similar programs. Native Alaskans 18 to 24 who are drug and alcohol free and able to pass a background check are eligible. They will live in a dormitory in Nenana. The program will operate in the former Yukon/Koyukuk School District buildings. It has room for 36 people for training in first aid, carpentry, and suicide prevention, throughout the 10 months. In addition, they will be able to work toward getting a general equivalency diploma. The program will send teams to different communities to work on renovations or new construction for nonprofits, said Kelly Monroe, project coordinator. "We want to do some oral history projects, get some elders on tape," she said. The corps may be asked to start community gardens or coordinate teen activities, she said.
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