Mekoryuk Student Receives two Prestigious BP Scholarship Awards

Mekoryuk Student Receives two Prestigious BP Scholarship Awards
Posted on 05/18/2017
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Jayne Hanna of Nuniwarmiut School in Mekoryuk, Alaska, has been named the recipient of the BP Alaska Principal’s Scholarship and the BP Alaska Commissioner’s Scholarship Awards. 

Hanna was among 25 graduating high school seniors across the state who received the BP Alaska Principal’s Award, a $4000 scholarship. Scholarship recipients are chosen by a statewide panel of school principals and selected based off the applicant’s academic achievement, leadership potential, and community/school involvement.

Of the 25 BP Principal’s Scholarship Award recipients, Hanna was selected by the Alaska Commissioner of Education as the recipient of the BP Alaska Commissioner’s Scholarship, which is worth $10,000 and is awarded to only one graduating senior in the state.

Hanna graduated among a class of four on Friday, May 12, 2017. Bob Williams, the Director of the Division of Educator and School Excellence for the Alaska Department of Education & Early Development, traveled to Mekoryuk to present Hanna with her BP Scholarship Awards at her graduation ceremony. In his presentation of the award, Williams stated, “this student exemplifies success and has shown drive, talent, and ambition far and above what many young people demonstrate.”

In her own graduation speech, Hanna described the unique challenges of education in rural Alaskan village such as Mekoryuk. Hanna said:

"I’m going to state the obvious here– Mekoryuk is a tiny village, and resources aren’t as accessible as in larger communities. We graduating seniors have all faced unique challenges in achieving our high school education. But we also realize that being isolated by the Bering Sea isn’t a barrier limiting our capacity for success. Rather, it is a challenge prompting us to take initiative, think outside the box, and stretch our comfort zones. The challenges we face strengthen and develop us. Our challenges are what prompt us to thrive. And we are blessed with many factors supporting our success. 

"We have grown up with a rich Cup’ig cultural background to support our future educational pursuits. I learned from my mom that no matter where I go, I’ll always be Cup’ig and I should be proud of that. We are uniquely blessed that Cup’ig cultural values passed down from our elders have been woven daily into our public school education, establishing strong cultural self-identity and confidence."

Just two weeks ago, Hanna was named the ACT’s National Student Readiness Exemplar and was awarded a $4,000 scholarship.  Hanna plans to attend Biola University in California, majoring in Math with a concentration in Secondary Education, with the ultimate goal of returning to rural Alaska as a teacher.

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