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CVRF Puts Western Alaska Students To Work

An aerial view over a snowy, coastal Alaska village in wintertime

Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) is employing hundreds of Western Alaska young people this summer as part of its internship and Youth-to-Work programs.

According to a press release, the internship program is in its 20th year. 19 college students are joining the CVRF staff for 10-week internships. 13 students are working in local communities and six in the nonprofit’s Anchorage office, with two back for a second year.

Kayla Kugstun is a returning intern from Kwigillingok. She says she’s excited to be back and enjoys learning about “real life” work and a possible career in accounting.

And over 800 young people are participating in the Youth-to-Work program this summer. In two sessions, the students work on community service projects, shadow workers at other organizations, and learn traditional subsistence and cultural ways from Yupik elders.

According to CVRF, the programs provide the students with living wages and are intended to “demonstrate the benefits of employment to youth” and “give them an opportunity to develop … foundational workforce skills.”

Timothy Sherman is a community benefits specialist for CVRF. “By supporting them, we create a better future,” he says. “We hold the power to contribute to our region by investing in our youth.”

Image at top: Scammon Bay, one of CVRF’s member communities (photo: U.S. Coast Guard).