ExxonMobil provides $250,000 to launch the Northern Alaska Indigenous Leadership Academy
Initial 25 applicants will be part of a peer network
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (May 18, 2016) – The University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF), College of Rural and Community Development (CRCD), received a $250,000 contribution from ExxonMobil Corp. to launch the Northern Alaska Indigenous Leadership Academy (NAILA). This program is designed to foster wellness, leadership and community sustainability among Alaska Native leaders.
“Without the generosity of ExxonMobil, the Northern Alaska Indigenous Leadership Academy wouldn’t be possible,” said Evon Peter, vice chancellor of Rural, Community and Native Education for UAF. “Their gift underscores our shared commitment to developing a new generation of Alaska Native leaders and building sustainable rural communities.”
Jointly directed by UAF in partnership with Ilisagvik College, NAILA’s curriculum includes a one-week residency focused on healing and wellness, leadership development and community sustainability. An initial 25 applicants will be part of a peer network connecting them with educational opportunities fostering personal and professional growth. After graduating, students will have the skills to implement sustainable community development initiatives and assume leadership roles in their region.
“Nurturing the next generation of indigenous leaders within our culturally rich communities will be key to supporting a sustainable and thriving state,” said Pearl Brower, president of Ilisagvik College. “The creation of NAILA under the partnership of both UAF and Iḷisaġvik College begins an important journey to incorporate both indigenous wisdom and the western educational system to develop indigenous leaders who will transcend boundaries and lead us into the future. I look forward to this partnership and working with both Vice Chancellor Peter and the future students of the program.”
Applications for the program will be available this fall for the first cohort of 25 indigenous students living in the Interior and North Slope communities. Through ExxonMobil’s contribution, those selected will receive scholarships covering travel, tuition and fees.
“ExxonMobil is committed to maintaining a strong relationship with Alaska Native communities, which is such an important part of our operating mission in the state,” said Cory Quarles, Production Manager of ExxonMobil in Alaska. “We are proud to sponsor a program that helps develop and cultivate future leadership.”
About the College of Rural and Community Development
A critical link between UAF and Alaska’s rural communities, the CRCD fulfills the community college mission for UAF. Its five rural campuses bring education to our students’ front door, providing both distance education and campus-based classes. For more information about CRCD, community campuses or any of the more than 40 certificate and degree programs available through the college, visit www.uaf.edu/rural or call 907-474-7143 or 866-478-2721.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world. ExxonMobil is one of the top three petroleum producers in Alaska and operates Point Thomson, a natural-gas condensate production facility, on the North Slope. For more information, visit www.exxonmobil.com or follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/exxonmobil.