Coastal Villages Region Fund’s summer 2017 Youth-to-Work (YTW) program has concluded with record participation from Western Alaska youth.
This year, over 775 young Alaskans from the CVRF region were hired through the YTW program, shattering the previous record of 698 participants during the summer of 2016.
“We are honored by the commitment families in the CVRF region have made to this critically important program,” said Jonathan Lewis, a Community Service Manager for CVRF in the community of Chefornak. “To put things in perspective, the number of young people employed by CVRF this summer is greater than the combined total population of the two smallest CDQ groups – APICDA and CBSFA. This is a remarkable accomplishment and I could not be more proud of our company and our region for helping to facilitate such positive opportunities and experiences for our youth.”
Over the past 11 summers, CVRF’s YTW program has grown considerably, starting with 17 youth in the pilot program in 2007 and growing to what it is today. CVRF partners with local organizations across Western Alaska, making it possible for youth to work not just in CVRF’s local Community Service Centers, but also at local places of business such as tribal councils and village stores. Youth also gather subsistence foods for elders, learn how to mend fish nets, work with expert instructors making Yup’ik crafts, and develop other traditional life skills.
“CVRF’s Youth to Work program is a great opportunity for developing job experiences and gathering traditional Yup’ik cultural knowledge,” said Miranda Paul of Kipnuk.
Youth participating in the YTW program this year have been paid over $440,000 in wages so far, with one additional pay period in August to be completed.
“Participating in the Youth-to-Work program this year gave me the experience of learning to be a strong and genuine leader in my community,” said Charity Maxie of Napaskiak. “I’m honored to be part of an organization that gives youth and the people of our region the opportunity to reach for our goals.”