Marissa Brakes, an undergraduate student studying criminal justice at Boise State University, is just one of 289 scholarship recipients for the 2015-2016 academic year. And this award is important to her.
“My goal is to obtain my undergraduate degree, debt free,” Brakes said in a press release. “The scholarship I receive from Sealaska allows me not to take out a loan. Plus, I only have to work part-time while attending school full-time.”
“Marissa’s story is a great example of the impact the scholarship and internship programs provide,” Sealaska President and CEO Anthony Mallott said in the release. “Not only is she driven to obtain her degree, but she also is gaining valuable experience as a 2015 Sealaska intern with the finance department in Juneau. Both the scholarship and internship programs are examples of Sealaska’s priority on leadership development and capacity building for our shareholders.”
This year’s scholarships total $459,000. “Every dollar that Sealaska contributes to scholarships is a long-term investment into our community,” Sealaska Chair Joe Nelson said in the release. “With more than half of our 22,000 shareholders living outside of Alaska, we need to make conscious efforts to bring some of our best and brightest back home. As vice chancellor of Enrollment Management for University of Alaska Southeast, I support the recently launched Come Home to Alaska program. It allows a student from the lower 48 with family ties in Alaska to avoid the non-resident tuition surcharge. For the average full-time student, that is a $12,000 annual savings.