Public Affairs

January 14, 2006

Hamilton Urges Youth to Create the Future


For Immediate Release
January 14, 2006

UA President Mark Hamilton told delegates at the Conference of Young Alaskans this morning to "believe in the certainty of doable steps that will allow your state to become what you demand."  In his keynote opening address, Hamilton encouraged the 55 delegates from around Alaska to meet and listen to the participants from Alaska's Constitutional Convention who are here with them as they consider their vision for Alaska's future. They are meeting at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which hosted the
Constitutional Convention.
 

Hamilton noted that at Alaska's centennial celebration 50 years from now, the delegates will be able to remember this day and say they knew how the constitution was written because they met people who wrote it. "It makes me get chills understanding the nexus you have with history."

At a welcome dinner last night, Victor Fischer, a delegate from Anchorage at the Constitutional Convention 50 years ago this winter, said that those delegates worked together with nonpartisan spirit toward a common goal and he urged these delegates to do the same.  "The future does belong to you," Fischer said. "This is something that is going to last the rest of your lives," he said. "This conference will build a foundation for you."

Katie Hurley, who was the chief clerk of the Constitutional Convention, said she hoped they would not only be good citizens, but also leaders. "We need you. We need you to be involved and encourage others to be involved," she said.

Lt. Governor Loren Leman told the youth that to make a difference, they would need to take three important steps - Get Started, Build a Team, and Stand Strong. "You have a tremendous opportunity," he said.  

The 55 youth, from 23 different communities around Alaska, have begun drafting vision statements and goals for five challenges facing Alaska and its people:  quality education; healthy communities and families; leaders for the next generation; responsible development of natural resources; and reviving the Alaska dream and "Last Frontier" spirit.

The Conference of Young Alaskans is one of a series of events organized by the University of Alaska's Creating Alaska project this winter to honor the 50th anniversary of Alaska's Constitutional Convention.  
The list of delegates and more information about the conference can be found at coya.alaska.edu. 

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For more information, or to obtain photos contact Patti Harper, Public Information Specialist, at (907) 786-1169 or patricia.harper@alaska.edu.

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