Their Success Stories are Alaska’s Success Story.

From the bison-filled tundra outside Fairbanks, to tree-lined forests near Juneau, to a robotics lab in Anchorage, UA Scholars are making a difference for all of Alaska. Read their stories. Learn of their motivations. You may just see a bit of yourself in them.

Click or tap on the profiles below to read each Scholar’s full story. 


Autumn graduated from Homer Senior High School. She is currently attending UAS and is working towards a BA in English.

Being on her family’s fishing boat every summer, Autumn learned what it was like to work hard, think on her feet and be open to new opportunities. She is fully embracing all of these things through her studies at UAS. Though she may not have everything figured out yet, hers is a lesson in being able to accomplish whatever you put your mind to.

Read Autumn’s Full Story

Mariah graduated from Homer Senior High School, then went on to attend UAS and earn a BA in Elementary Education.

You can learn a lot in a classroom. You can learn even more in the great outdoors. Mariah Vantrease witnessed this firsthand as a student and skiing enthusiast growing up in Homer and later, as a running coach in Juneau. She’s now found a role where she can combine all of these things to create a more positive impact on kids. Best of all, it’s in one of the most scenic places Alaska has to offer.

Read Mariah's Full Story

Katie graduated from Steller Secondary School. She is currently attending UAA and is working towards a BA in Political Science.

Born in China and adopted into a family in Alaska, Katie’s story is one with a worldly perspective about getting a second chance. From Anchorage to Monte Cristi, and places in between, she learned about other cultures and found her purpose: to someday provide immigrants with the same opportunities she’s had. That is, after the whirlwind of her exciting opportunities at the university are complete.

Read Katie’s Full Story

Matteo graduated from Service High School. He is currently attending UAF and is working towards an AAS in Fire Science and BSEM in Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

In this story, we join Matteo, a full-time student and paid firefighter as he navigates finals and flames on the path to his dream career. It’s one that will help him repay those in the medical industry who gave so much to him – and keep others in Alaska safe. That is, when he’s not being called into action.

Read Matteo’s Full Story

Luke graduated from West Valley High School, then went on to attend UAF and earn a BS in Wildlife Biology and Conservation.

Luke’s story begins in the wild open spaces of the tundra. Here, as Assistant Biologist on the Wood Bison Restoration Project with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, he is helping reintroduce these magnificent creatures back into the wild. It’s a project that’s taken place over generations and will benefit many to come. His first order of business though, is attending to a rather vocal bull.

Read Luke’s Full Story

Mya graduated from Alaska Middle College School. She is currently attending UAA and is working towards a BS in Computer Science and Computer Systems Engineering.

Mya always felt she had science in her genes. At first, she wanted to use it to become a doctor. Later, she joined her engineering family in tinkering with mechanisms that would eventually lead to robots and their advanced technology. She wants to make Alaska a tech center hub. But at the moment, she has her sights set on a disc and a goal in the distance.

Read Mya's Full Story

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