Scholarships Offered To Sealaska Shareholders

The Sealaska Heritage Institute is once again offering scholarships to students attending college, graduate school or vocational-technical programs.

Only Sealaska shareholders and their lineal descendents are eligible.

Rosita Worl is president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which offers scholarships to shareholder descendants. Photo courtesy KTOO - Juneau.
Rosita Worl is president of the Sealaska Heritage Institute, which offers scholarships to shareholder descendants. Photo courtesy CoastAlaska.

Institute President Rosita Worl says up to 400 scholarships are awarded each year.

“A major consideration is the hopes that our educated young people will come back home and help us in developing strong, healthy communities,” Worl says.

The application deadline is March 1st. Students submitting paperwork by February 1st get an extra $50 tacked onto their scholarships, if they qualify.

Applications are available at the institute’s website.

Worl says the program has broadened its focus since it began.

“At first we thought we’d just concentrate just on education required to work in Sealaska. But then we found out that we need everything from an anthropologist to accountants to foresters. So we dropped that, just because we found we needed educated people in all areas,” she says.

Scholarships have totaled around $400,000 a year. Most of the funding comes from the Sealaska regional Native corporation.

Sealaska has more than 21,000 Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian shareholders. About half live outside Alaska.

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Ed Schoenfeld is Regional News Director for CoastAlaska, a consortium of public radio stations in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka, Petersburg and Wrangell. He primarily covers Southeast Alaska regional topics, including the state ferry system, transboundary mining, the Tongass National Forest and Native corporations and issues. He has also worked as a manager, editor and reporter for the Juneau Empire newspaper and Juneau public radio station KTOO. He’s also reported for commercial station KINY in Juneau and public stations KPFA in Berkley, WYSO in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and WUHY in Philadelphia. He’s lived in Alaska since 1979 and is a contributor to Alaska Public Radio Network newscasts, the Northwest (Public Radio) News Network and National Native News. He is a board member of the Alaska Press Club. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he lives in Douglas.