For DonorsFor Applicants

Alaska Students - North to the Future Scholarship

Funded by
Picture of the donor
Maria Davis
1st winner$518
2nd winner$516
3rd winner$516
Application Deadline
Sep 1, 2024
Winners Announced
Oct 1, 2024
Education Level
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
Undergraduate student (two or four-year degree)

Pursuing higher education can be difficult for any student because of the financial barriers and responsibilities associated with college.

Many students face additional challenges, such as a lack of support, the responsibility of holding down a job while attending school, medical emergencies, unplanned family emergencies or expenses, or other obstacles that make it difficult to follow the traditional paths to education. Students from Alaska face additional travel costs if they decide to attend school out of state.

This scholarship seeks to support students from Alaska facing obstacles on their paths to higher education, and to take a little bite out of the bottom line. 

Any undergraduate student from Alaska who is pursuing a degree may apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, please submit a video or essay telling us what have you learned about yourself or about the world that you could only experience in Alaska?  And if you’ve traveled, what have you learned from traveling away from your home?

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 3, 2024
Essay Topic

What did you learn about yourself or about the world that you could only learn/experience in Alaska? What have you learned from traveling away from your home? Describe yourself, your background and interests, and your unique challenges to paying for higher education.  

400–600 words

Winning Application

Itsariya Maupin
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK
Life's journey often unfolds unexpectedly, leading us to places we never imagined. Mine began in the bustling streets of Bangkok, Thailand, and eventually carried me to the remote corners of Alaska, where I embarked on a transformative experience that shaped my identity and aspirations. My transition from Thailand to the Arctic town of Utqiagvik and later to Fairbanks provided me with unique insights, invaluable lessons, and a fervent determination to pursue my dreams against all odds. Growing up in the vibrant chaos of Bangkok, life was a constant struggle for my single mother, my younger sister, and me. The pursuit of basic necessities was an uphill battle, and financial constraints were a constant companion. The yearning for better opportunities led us to make the decision to move to Utqiagvik, Alaska, a place that couldn't have been more different from our homeland. This move was not just a change in scenery; it was a leap into the unknown, my family's first foray into the American way of life. Utqiagvik, with its serene Arctic landscapes and tight-knit community, became my introduction to America. The stunning vistas of snow-covered expanses and the ethereal dance of the northern lights were a far cry from the bustling streets of Bangkok. This was my first taste of America's diverse tapestry, where cultures and landscapes could be as different as night and day yet still coexist in harmony. I discovered that despite the distance and cultural disparities, human connection and warmth were universal. Through shared experiences, I realized that empathy, kindness, and understanding transcended boundaries, reaffirming the value of forging connections in unfamiliar territory. Transitioning from Utqiagvik to Fairbanks further broadened my perspective on Alaska's unique character. The stark contrast between the sunlit summers and the extended darkness of the winters taught me resilience and adaptability. As I marveled at the majesty of the aurora borealis and witnessed the perseverance of wildlife in the face of adversity, I internalized the profound lessons nature had to offer. The Alaskan environment served as a vivid metaphor for life's ebbs and flows, inspiring me to embrace change and emerge stronger from challenges. However, my journey was not confined to geography alone; it extended to self-discovery and growth. Traveling away from my homeland, I was thrust into unfamiliar situations that demanded adaptability and open-mindedness. The experience of being an immigrant forced me to shed preconceived notions and be receptive to diverse perspectives. It was in the melting pot of cultures that I discovered the beauty of intercultural exchanges, broadening my horizons and fostering a global mindset. My family's financial struggles served as a backdrop to my determination to pursue higher education. Guided by the unyielding spirit instilled in me by my mother, I resolved to work part-time every day during college to achieve my dreams. As I embark on this journey, I am resolute in my pursuit of becoming an athletic trainer. My passion for health, exercise, and sports has been a constant source of inspiration, igniting a desire to support others in their journey toward physical well-being. It is the embodiment of my belief that a healthy body nurtures a healthy mind and spirit. In summary, my journey from Bangkok to Alaska has been transformative and resilient. Experiencing Utqiagvik and Fairbanks has deepened my appreciation for diverse landscapes, cultures, and human connections. Traveling away from my homeland taught me empathy, adaptability, and a global outlook. Now, on the cusp of my college adventure, driven by determination and a passion for athletic training, I'm excited to explore new horizons, fueled by the unbreakable spirit that guided me from Thailand to Alaska.
Samuelu Fiame
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK
What I learned about Alaska was how calm and peaceful it is compared to lower 48. The density of nature, the lack of people, this is what I love about Alaska. I came to Alaska when I was 14, it's been 6 years of living here to forget how different life here is compared to Washington State. I was born in American Samoa and left for Washington State at the age of 4. People raised in Alaska and want to leave take it for granted, but it takes a lot to see how great of a thing you already have to actually see it. I've seen friends from my childhood turn to gang affiliations, drug abuse, and working dead end jobs. It's crazy how media normalize it. I will be different. I'll do whatever it takes to escape what I was raised in. I won't let the chance my parents don't realize they gave me. One of the memories I have as a kid was when there was a flood that happened, I remember it being so bad that the whole village had to camp far up the mountains. We had one tent with a family of 6. I remember eating sardines in that tent as a toddler with my grandma and mother while my father and grandpa were outside. The heavy rain and wind pushed so hard the tent had to be held by my uncles and them. This is a memory that will be stuck with me forever. It motivates me, shows how easier I have it now. Keeps me humble and grateful for everything I have led to up to now. Although my family may be on the poorer side of the American standards. I say this is a blessing. So I want to make a change in my family to be the first to complete a college program. I will make sure not to be the last. My cousin Emmanuel Jennings, is currently enrolled in the A&P program at CTC UAF I will to get into. We made a goal that after we completed the program, we're gonna gain experience working for Airline companies such as Everts, Alaska Airlines , United or a private shop. After we have enough experience and saved enough money we are going to put a down payment for a plot of land, or buy an already built shop. We will start a shop that will specialize in Aviation and Automotive. I have friends who are experienced in the automotive part.We decided to call the shop USO Double AA, we want to be motivation for the Islands. This is a mere stepping stone for us.
Saphfire Untalasco
University of Alaska AnchorageKodiak, AK
Living off the land through subsistence harvesting in Alaska with my husband changed my life. Having such a rich opportunity to live more off the land allowed my family to regain stability during our turbulent time in life. When our household income dropped dramatically due to leaving my State of Alaska job of eight years, it was then that I could restart my life and chase my lifelong dream as an early childcare development educator. I knew such a risk was going to come at a great price, but my husband and I saw this and adapted to the situation, using this as an opportunity. This was the opportunity to learn the ways of Alutiiq harvesting and the different plants. This ability to be able to provide food all year long has cut down the cost of stress. Having a life that’s been a rollercoaster from the beginning is an understatement. From dark memories of family to an unstable mother having us sleep on playground equipment, my name is Saphfire Untalasco, and this is my story. Born in California, my mother jumped from one living situation to another. At one point, she couldn’t put her stubbornness aside for her four kids’ well-being. This situation escalated to the point where we needed to sleep outside on a playground. We took a ferry to Alaska and ended up in Juneau when I was seven years old. My mother never changed her habits to the point where I had to watch my three other siblings around the clock. She even enrolled me into homeschooling, as a more convenient way to be able to watch my brother and sisters. This pattern continued until I was able to move back to California and lived with my aunt before my sophomore year. I graduated from high school a year early and eventually reconnected with a boy I had a crush on in high school, now my husband of 10 years. While Kodiak is my current home, Juneau Alaska was where I spent most of my life growing up. Kodiak has been my home for the past 3 years, where I’ve been able to share memories created through my love for photography and my husband. The memories enhanced with my daughter of eight years, berry picking, camping, nature walks, and hiking. The sense of community since I moved here has been such a comforting experience to watch my daughter grow up in. That feeling where it's a slower pace and people stop for several long minutes to talk with one another in the grocery store. It was an odd feeling at first, walking down the street and random people in cars waving, something that I didn’t think about when I was living in California or even in Juneau. To better oneself is to be self-aware that something could be improved, and nothing is ever perfect. Through my experiences in life, my goal is to change and inspire the next generation to cultivate leaders. This scholarship will assist in my journey towards becoming the first in my family to reach that next level, investing in the next generation.
Cole Osowski
University of Alaska FairbanksFairbanks, AK
My name is Cole Osowski. I am a 17 year old finishing up my first year of college. I have a background as a legal assistant and student. I am a member of ASAF (Student Senate) for my college, and I am also the chairman of our Rules Committee. I am struggling to pay for college because my family isn't going to be able to keep helping me pay for college in the future. I am working a part-time job and am looking into starting a second job. When I was 16 my family situation deteriorated and I was forced to graduate early in hopes of moving away from my family. Because I graduated high school when I was 16, I was unable to apply for scholarships and plan for college like most Juniors and Seniors. Receiving scholarships will assist me in paying for college. Growing up in Alaska, I have learned the importance of community. When I was visiting family in Colorado, I noticed that people didn't know each other. As a lifelong Alaskan I have experienced the close knit community we form. I have lived in Anchorage, Sitka, Wrangell, and Fairbanks. In every instance the community gets to know me and I am able to fit in without having to worry about being who I am. When I was 13 I went to a behavioral health program based in Wrangell. It was extremely scary to have that level of independence so soon, but I was able to maintain a 4.0 and receive college credit. I learned that I was capable of dealing with my own issues and that I was more mature than I gave myself credit for. After that program I attended two more public boarding schools. At each one I felt anxious and was less than pleased to be in a completely new environment. But I was able to adapt and ended up enjoying both experiences (while maintaining an A average). When I moved to Fairbanks for college, I was extremely anxious. I was almost certain that I wasn't prepared for college. Whenever I did something I had to look over my shoulder, and I always felt like I was messing up. Because I was so worried that I was messing up, I actually paid attention during new student orientation. I took the three tips to college success Dr. Prakash gave us to heart. I have not missed a single class except for when I was in quarantine. I have not missed an assignment (or turned one in late). I have asked for help when I needed it. Those three things all led me to learn self-management. Before moving to Fairbanks I'd stay up past 2:00 AM. Now I plan ahead so I am able to get enough sleep. I know that may seem like an insignificant skill, but so far it's led to straight A's and an amazing college experience!


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Sep 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Oct 1, 2024.