RAHI celebrates 38th graduation ceremony

Many alumni of the Rural Alaska Honors Institute will tell you that the summer they spent amongst their peers at UAF’s Troth Yeddha’ campus changed the course of their lives. Comments like “best summer ever!” and “most challenging, yet rewarding program I’ve ever completed,” are commonplace in our world. In a typical summer, rural and Alaska Native students would be living in McIntosh Hall absorbed in a challenging curriculum, exploring the outdoor adventures that Interior Alaska has to offer, taking advantage of $1 scoop ice cream Thursdays, and making late-night runs to Fred Meyer. Of course, 2020 has not been a typical summer with the threat of COVID-19 looming.

RAHI theme 2020

On May 28, RAHI 2020, a class comprised of 38 high school juniors and seniors hailing from 24 communities across the state, embarked upon the RAHI challenge like no other cohort has before – fully online. Over the course of six weeks, they’ve Zoomed like champions, starting their days at 9 a.m. and ending at 9 p.m., while overcoming connectivity and technology challenges and balancing the demands of family, friends, jobs, and subsistence lifestyles.

Thirty-six RAHI students earned as many as 10 UAF credits in subjects like Alaska Native language, biomedical research, business, chemistry, education, library science, process technology, study skills, and writing. Beyond these courses, our students have forged friendships with one another, developed self-discipline, become comfortable with asking for help, and proven their dedication to the pursuit of knowledge.

We are extremely proud of this year’s class and all of the dedicated staff and instructors that supported them. As we come to a close, we invite you to join us in virtually celebrating their exceptional success and watch the recordings:

RAHI is made possible through partnerships with Alyeska, Biomedical Learning and Student Training (BLaST), ConocoPhillips, First National Bank of Alaska, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, University of Alaska, UAF College of Rural and Community Development, Wells Fargo, and generous private donors.

To date, nearly 1,800 students have attended RAHI and our alumni have earned over 1,155 degrees.