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TCF Recipient

Savannah Bickley- TCF Recipient

My mother tied the makeshift plastic bib around my tiny torso checking to make sure it wasn’t too tight. Guiding my pudgy hands, she gently dipped them into a small bowl of paint (non-toxic of course) and pressed it against the smooth paper. Little did she know of the monster she had just unleashed upon the world, for in that exact moment, when tiny hands touched canvas, art began to play a huge impact on my life.

I drew on anything I could scavenge from mom’s spreadsheets to homework. Thankfully for my parents’ sanity, as I grew older my preferences turned from paperwork to sketch pads. My skills started to become more expansive and fleshed out as I started to explore every nook of my favorite subject, from sculpting to digital artwork, my love seemed to know no bounds and it quickly became obvious that I was destined to be an artist.

Well, should I say obvious to everyone but myself. (more…)

By |April 21st, 2017|TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Savannah Bickley- TCF Recipient

Tammy Ashley- TCF Recipient, “My Academic Success”

Tammy AshleyMy name is Tammy Tuttle Ashley, daughter to Terry and Delores Tuttle. I am an original CIRI shareholder born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. My Grandmother Alma (Foster) McCormick and Mother were born on Unga Island in the Shumagin Islands on the Aleutian Chain and my Grandfather Roy Ashenfelter was born in Council and lived his life in White Mountain. My husband Charles and I celebrate almost 25 years together and we have one daughter Tiare.

In 2007, I began my academic journey with one class, going to school while working full-time at Southcentral Foundation. I was able to juggle school and work around raising my daughter and taking care of my family. I completed an Associate of Arts at the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009. I transferred to Alaska Pacific University and completed an associate degree in Human Services in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree in Human Services in 2012. In 2015 I completed at master’s degree in Business Administration, with a certificate of completion in the Alaska Native Executive Leadership Program.

Throughout this career journey, I was able to achieve success with the support from my family, The CIRI Foundation, Southcentral Foundation, and Cook Inlet Tribal Council. Many people have been behind me every step of the way, encouraging me as well as financially supporting my academic aspirations. I am so thankful for all those who provided encouragement and support, allowing me to further my professional career in the Native Community. I want to encourage others to learn and grow as well as find a healthy balance within our Native Community.

– Tammy Ashley

By |April 21st, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Tammy Ashley- TCF Recipient, “My Academic Success”

Tierra Colberg- TCF Recipient, “A Summer Story”

The end of my junior year at UAS was beginning to approach. Weather in Juneau, while as rainy as ever, was starting to reach toward summertime warmth. Sunshine glowed on the ocean, classes finished one by one, I closed the covers of my heavy elementary education textbooks with a satisfying thump and I began to think about summer employment. (more…)

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Raina Thiele – TCF Alumni

I was born and raised in various parts of the great state of Alaska. My mom (Dena’ina Athabascan) is from Lake Iliamna and my dad (Yup’ik and German) is from Alexander Creek near Mt. Susitna. From a young age, I knew that I wanted to get an education that would enable me to pursue my passions. However, as a first generation college student, I had to feel my way through the college application and financing process as though I were fumbling through an obstacle course in the dark.

At that early stage of my life, I could never have imagined that 15 years later I’d have earned credentials from Yale and Harvard, and worked for President Obama at the White House.


By |April 21st, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Raina Thiele – TCF Alumni

Cynthia Baldwin – TCF Scholarship Recipient

Angel Rocks

My name is Cynthia Baldwin the daughter of Nicholas and Patricia Baldwin. My great grandmother, Lucy Whitley, is the original CIRI Shareholder that I descend from on my mother’s side.

I guess you can say I grew up in the Education and Training field. My mother was an Employment and Training Advisor, after school I would sit in the common area of her office, waiting until it was time to go home. I would listen to her talk to prospective students, do assessments to find out where their interests lay, research schools to attend and help the apply for funding. In the evenings she took college classes over teleconference and would be listening to the class discussions while getting dinner on the table. I am the youngest of 5, through her own perseverance she graduated with her Bachelor degree the year before I graduated high school.

I received my Bachelor of Art in Art May 2005. In 2009 I began work as a Financial Aid Advisor at UAF, and took advantage of my tuition waiver, starting the MBA program in January 2010. I got a headache on the left side of my head, that I attributed to stress, but the headache did not go away, it was constant. (more…)

By |April 20th, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Cynthia Baldwin – TCF Scholarship Recipient

Shandice Johnson – TCF Scholarship Recipient

Shandice Johnson

I began my college career torn between pursuing law or medicine. I quickly realized neither one was for me. On a whim, I had taken a Computer Science course. It was love at first byte. I made the scary choice to switch majors and switch schools. It was pretty much starting from scratch but I haven’t regretted it for a moment. I landed an excellent internship as a software engineer that turned into a full time position that I love. I am so grateful for the funding and resources The CIRI Foundation provided me. I don’t know if I would have been able to finish without them. It was a long road to graduate and The CIRI Foundation made that road a far less frightening to travel. Thank you!

– Shandice Johnson

By |April 20th, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Shandice Johnson – TCF Scholarship Recipient

Vivian Pomeroy – TCF Scholarship Recipient

11146305_1118908148124755_6611960196815471028_nHi my name is Vivian Pomeroy, I am Inupiaq and Tsimshian from Anchorage, Alaska. I am one of the few Alaska Native students attending Haskell Indian Nations University. This May, I will be graduating with my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts. It has been a wonderful experience here, teaching about my culture. I have been involved with many activities such as Miss Haskell 2nd Runner up 2015-2016, Alaska Club student representative, and 2 years on the Haskell Student Senate Executive Board. I will be continuing here for my Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Tribal Management. I encourage all past, present, and future students to pursue a greater education to better our future. Thank you to all who have provided the advice and experience to get me to where I am today.

-Vivian Pomeroy

By |April 20th, 2017|TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Vivian Pomeroy – TCF Scholarship Recipient