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Wells Fargo donates $50,000 for RAHI business course

Submitted by Katrina Paul
Phone: (907) 474-7095


Photo caption below.
Photo by Katrina Paul
Darren J Franz, left, Wells Fargo district president northern Alaska, presents a $50,000 check to Denise Wartes, UAF Rural Alaska Honors Institute program coordinator, Bernice Joseph, UAF vice chancellor for rural, community, and Native education, and Laura Milner of UAF's master of business administration program.


Fairbanks, Alaska--The Rural Alaska Honors Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has received a $50,000 donation from Wells Fargo to support adding a business class to the program's curriculum in 2007.

Liz Ross, former CEO for Alaska's 13th Regional Corporation, will teach the new class, which was developed in concert with UAF's School of Management.

"Wells Fargo is pleased to support RAHI in their efforts to prepare Alaska Native students to succeed in college, career and life," said Richard Strutz, Wells Fargo Alaska regional president. "These bright young students are the future of Alaska, and our contribution is a way we can help them achieve their educational and life aspirations."

This is the third donation of at least $50,000 Wells Fargo has made this year to Alaska university programs supporting Alaska Native education opportunities. The financial services company contributed $50,000 to UAA's Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program and $60,000 to Alaska Pacific University's Rural Alaska Native Adult distance education program. Wells Fargo is Alaska's top financial services employer with more than 1,100 team members serving customers through a network of 70 banking, mortgage, consumer lending, insurance and investment offices, 120 ATMs and online.

The RAHI program, part of UAF's College of Rural and Community Development, was founded in 1982, at the request of the AFN, to help rural Alaska students make the transition from high school to college. The six-week summer program brings at least 40 high school juniors and graduating seniors to UAF each year. Students live in campus residence halls and learn about college life while working to build their academic skills through enrollment in university-level courses. They leave with up to 10 college credits, which count toward degree requirements later in their academic careers.

"We attempt to build a supportive community in which students participate in a rich academic setting, build a university transcript and develop a long-term supportive network with peers, staff and instructors," said Denise Wartes, program coordinator.

Nearly 1,100 students have participated in the RAHI program, with RAHI alumni receiving 360 certificate, associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees, including five law degrees and one medical degree.

The RAHI curriculum includes university courses funded in part by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and UAF's Alaska Natives Into Psychology program. Courses in writing at the college level make up the centerpiece of the curriculum, along with a choice of biochemistry, geoscience, math, rural development, Native psychology, or business. Instruction in computers, Alaska Native dance, swimming and study skills round out the college preparatory residency.

RAHI information packets including brochures, applications, posters and a DVD have been sent statewide to high schools, Alaska Native profit and nonprofit corporations and RAHI alumni. Anyone interested in receiving RAHI information may contact the office at 800-478-6886, PO Box 756305, Fairbanks, AK 99775, via e-mail or through the Web site. The deadline for applications is March 30, 2007. Dates for RAHI 2007 are May 29-July 12, 2007.

CONTACT: Denise Wartes or Carol Hollingsworth at (907) 474-6886, toll free at 1-800-478-6886, or via e-mail at fyrahi@uaf.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.uaf.edu/rahi

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