Board votes to increase scholarship endowment fund

In a resolution adopted Friday, Oct. 30, Sealaska’s board of directors voted to add an additional $2.5 million to its scholarship endowment fund to meet the increased demand for support from students receiving postsecondary education on a part-time basis.

Sealaska just started providing scholarships to part-time students for the 2019–2020 academic year, and the demand was significant.

“The part-time track is more realistic for a lot of people. We are happy to meet people where they are at as they pursue their educational goals,” said Joe Nelson, Sealaska board chair. “At the end of the day, their success is all of our success. Today’s workforce demands some postsecondary training for meaningful advancement.” 

In May, Sealaska announced it would award $1.34 million in funding to 553 students for the 2020–2021 academic year, a marked increase from the $880,000 it awarded the year prior. The number of students who qualified for support was up by nearly 200 over the previous academic year, due in large part to the expansion of the program to part-time students.

Brian James with his dog Tomas

Brian James was one of the first part-time students to receive scholarship support from Sealaska. He’s 51 years old and lives in the Seattle area, where he works in the health care industry. One of his goals is to get a job as a tribal liaison for his current employer, but the position requires a bachelor’s degree. The extension of eligibility to working professionals like himself is “honestly life changing,” he said.

The board’s resolution authorizes the additional funds to be allocated to the scholarship endowment, bringing the total restricted principal to $15 million. The earnings on the principal are used to provide scholarships.

For eligibility and other program information, please visit https://mysealaska.com/Services/Scholarship. The application for 2021–2022 will be available on Dec. 15, 2020, and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2021.

The board’s resolution authorizes the additional funds to be allocated to the scholarship endowment, bringing the total restricted principal to $15 million. The earnings on the principal are used to provide scholarships.

For eligibility and other program information, please visit https://mysealaska.com/Services/Scholarship. The application for 2021–2022 will be available on Dec. 15, 2020, and the deadline to apply is March 1, 2021.

Did you know?

  • Since last year, part-time students are now eligible for scholarships.
  • Scholarships are awarded to students enrolled at graduate schools, four-year colleges and other types of post-secondary programs.
  • Scholarships are funded by Sealaska and administered by Sealaska Heritage Institute.
  • Descendants are eligible to apply — not just shareholders.

Calling all former Sealaska scholarship recipients!

Are you a former scholarship recipient? Or do you know someone who is? We want to hear from you! Reach out at corpcomm@sealaska.com and let us know how education has shaped your journey. Be sure to include a photo!

Read more about our scholarship recipients and their amazing stories:

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