Phone: 907.793.3575 or Toll-free: 800.764.3382 |tcf@thecirifoundation.org

TCF Recipient

Denise Tuttle- TCF Recipient

Story by: Denise Tuttle (2017)

“Going Back to School”

Although I teach full-time and have periodically taken educational classes, a Master’s Degree seemed unreachable for me. I wondered if I could manage as a full-time teacher, a mom, a wife and a part-time graduate student at the same time, let alone re-enter graduate school 27 years after earning my Bachelors of Science degree.

The CIRI foundation has allowed me to begin my graduate program. Without your funding, this would be an impossible dream.

My husband has been an amazing support by editing my papers and cooking dinner when assignments became more intense. I have completed two classes and am excited to continue my program in the fall, should I receive continued financial support.

Thank you TCF!!!

Your financial support is making a difference!

Sincerely,
Denise Tuttle

By |June 13th, 2017|TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Denise Tuttle- TCF Recipient

Vanessa Standard- TCF Recipient

Story and Photo by: Vanessa Standard (2017)

Dear TCF-

Thank you so much for the generous vocational grant that you awarded me. I was able to graduate with my yoga teacher training certification. I am now working with others – teaching them the healing science of yoga. Many people’s lives are improving because of my education. I am so grateful for CIRI Foundation. Without you guys I don’t know where I would be or how I would have been able to participate in this training.

THANK YOU!!!!

I thank you a million times over and over and over again! Thank you for doing such good work! Thank you for positive being role models in my life. I sincerely appreciate your kindness, care and concern for our CIRI community (and the community at large). I am feeling blessed because of you, The CIRI Foundation!

With much love and gratitude – Vanessa Standard

By |June 13th, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Vanessa Standard- TCF Recipient

Ashlee Rowland- TCF Recipient “Now I am Certified!”

Story and Photo by: Ashlee Rowland (2017)

As of October I graduated from my vigorous 800 hour nutrition certification program. I learned so much during the program and would now love to get plugged into the native community or just the Alaskan community in general. I am now equipped to provide nutrition counseling, health talks, meal plans, supplements and much more. This was all possible because of The CIRI Foundation. I am beyond blessed and forever thankful for all of your hard work.

Thank you so much.
In health,

Ashlee, N.C.

By |June 13th, 2017|TCF Alumni, TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Ashlee Rowland- TCF Recipient “Now I am Certified!”

Christian Kamkoff- TCF Recipient

Story and Photo by: Christian Kamkoff

The cultural support of American Indians and Alaskan Natives is incredibly important to the community. A critical component of this support comes through cultural preservation. Equally significant, however, is the continued growth of Native American culture. It is important to show the world that Indigenous culture is not simply a historical culture, but a vibrant, living culture as well. I have met individuals, both from the United States and abroad, that were surprised to learn that American Indians are not a bygone ethnicity. I believe that the low percentage of American Indians and Alaskan Natives who graduate college compounds with the fact that fine and performing arts are the smallest category of degrees received, resulting in an incredibly small number of Native Americans in the arts—especially in literature. The success of American Indians in any field, but particularly in the arts, reminds the world that we are still here, we are thriving, and we have a beautiful, creative culture that enriches humanity. It is my hope to contribute as an author to the voice of this culture. By giving me the tools to improve and become a successful writer, my education will help me make an impact as an artist of Native heritage. (more…)

By |June 13th, 2017|TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Christian Kamkoff- 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…)

By |April 21st, 2017|TCF Recipient|Comments Off on Tierra Colberg- TCF Recipient, “A Summer Story”

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.

(more…)

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