“Summer of Heroes” Scholarship Program to Honor Local Youth

Calling all heroes! Nominations are now open for Alaska Communications’ second annual “Summer of Heroes” partnership program with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska.

In recognition of local youth who make a difference in Alaska communities, the company will select and award five young Alaskan heroes with $1,500 scholarships and a trip to the Alaska State Fair. Alaskans from all over the state are encouraged to nominate a child. Special events and celebrations leading up to the State Fair will also celebrate these heroic youths and the program.

In addition, the company is giving $25 to Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska for every new smartphone sold between May 23 and July 23, 2012. The donation, up to $15,000 total, will help provide much needed funds for the nonprofit’s youth programs.

Alaska Communications is asking parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, friends and children to nominate youths between the ages of 6 and 18 who have made an impact in the community. Examples of what defines a local “hero” includes those who saved a person’s life, made a difference by volunteering, raised funds for a cause, or contributed to his or her community in a way that is above and beyond.

Alaskans can submit a 400- to 500-word essay and fill out a nomination form from May 23 through July 23, 2012. Young Alaskans can nominate themselves as well. Visit the Summer of Heroes website for program rules and nomination forms.

“The Summer of Heroes program celebrates the wonderful contributions young Alaskans are making to our local communities. It also gives our company a chance to elevate heroic efforts of youth statewide while supporting Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska’s important programs,” said Heather Cavanaugh, Alaska Communications director of corporate communications. “Last year’s program was so well received by the community that we decided to make it an annual event as we continue to fulfill our promise to provide youth with education and development opportunities to help them succeed.”

“We are so grateful for the support that Alaska Communications gives us through the Summer of Heroes program. We have been able to directly support Clubhouse programming to encourage our youth’s educational and community service commitment as a result of last year’s contributions, and this year we are in need more than ever,” said Alana Humphrey, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska. “The Summer of Heroes is a terrific way to inspire Alaskans to stand behind our youth and celebrate the positive impact each and every one of them can make in their towns.”

Last year’s inaugural Summer of Heroes program recognized five outstanding young people from within their Alaska communities. Here are the 2011 heroes:

Sam Allred, Wasilla

Sam suffers from a rare kidney disease but he hasn’t let it stand in his way. Instead, Sam founded a non-profit, Kindness for Kids, and wrote a book to support children who are ill and their families, and encourage people around the world to not judge others by the way they look. He is now teaming up with the Nephcure Foundation to help launch the organization’s work in Alaska.

Krista Stapleford, Anchorage

Krista was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. She created the “Wheelchair Project,” a program designed to help kids understand what everyday life is like for children living with Muscular Dystrophy. Krista is working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association to take the program to other schools throughout Anchorage and the Pacific Northwest.

Fred Falealili, Anchorage

Fred is a friend, role model and mentor to dozens of kids and teens throughout the Anchorage area. He’s committed to helping other youth achieve success. Fred has impacted many young lives by volunteering at his local church as a Sunday school teacher and through his work with Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska, where he coaches and leads afterschool athletic programs for young men.

Jayden Tumbaga, Kenai

After battling several medical conditions as a child, Jayden had to grow up quickly, particularly after his parents were in a major car accident that left his dad in need of intense daily care. Jayden took on a job to earn extra income for his family and assisted with his father’s medical care. Even with his responsibilities at home, he remained focused on his academics and commitment to his community, volunteering in special needs classes throughout his school years to help children with severe disabilities.

Mersades Basford, Anchorage

Mersades consistently puts the needs of others before her own, showing compassion and kindness to everyone she encounters. From sewing blankets for homeless children, to helping abandoned pets find new homes, to volunteering with toy and food drives, it’s heroes like Mersades who make us proud of our Alaska communities.

This year, an Alaska Communications’ Summer of Heroes internal employee program will also gift one special son or daughter of an Alaska Communications employee a scholarship as well.

For more information, please visit www.alaskacommunications.com/summerofheroes, any Alaska Communications retail store or Boys & Girls Clubs – Alaska Clubhouse. Stay up-to-date on Summer of Heroes initiatives and events by connecting with Alaska Communications on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to download an application form.