Welcome to Love Letters to Home, where RAHI alumni share what they love about their community.

In this letter, Kyra Billings shared about the welcoming support of her home community in Utqiagvik. Hear from Kyra below:

“Dear Family and friends in Utqiagvik, Alaska:

I am doing well and having lots of fun at RAHI. I’ve learned a lot about not only education but the importance of community. I’ve met and gain perspective into the different cultures and communities that make Alaska.

I felt the withdrawals from being away from home a couple of times, I remind myself that I’m making my community proud. I’m setting an example for the generations below me. Don’t be mistaken though. I miss breathing the fresh ocean air and being close to family. I miss having everything only a 10-minute walk away.

Most of all, I missed the community that Utqiagvik is: we support each other and nobody’s a stranger. We all help each other: new people and ones that have been there their whole lives. I love our community, a little bubble at the top of the world. We are also secluded from the rest of the world. We have our own traditions unlike any other community.

I’m so honored to have been welcomed into the community only a few years ago. I can’t wait to head back home in a couple of weeks and be back in the place I feel welcome. One day I want to give back to the community that welcomed me as one of them, contribute the knowledge from RAHI and inspire my community to chase after their biggest dreams.

Signed,

Chunhui Billings

From RAHI at UAF.”


Thank you to the students who shared their letters, and congratulations to RAHI class of 2022.

Image at top: Kyra Billings of Utqiagvik, Alaska. Photo courtesy of Kyra Billings.

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