Stories that Inspire | September 2014

Sara and Scott Pate

“Our young people are the future of Alaska. We need to keep Alaska’s future here in Alaska.”Sara and Scott Pate are passionate about investing in Alaska. They know students at UAA represent the future and helping them earn an education is one of the best ways to ensure that the state’s future is a bright one. By helping Alaska students receive a first-class education right here at home, Sara and Scott are encouraging our best and brightest to remain a part of our community.

“We feel connected to the students here. They’re part of our community.”
An alumna of UAA, Sara knows first hand the benefits of a great education. She and Scott
want to empower the next generation of Alaska students by supporting the UAA General
Scholarship fund. They know their donations will go to the students who need their help the most.
“There are people out there who may be the first in their family wanting to attend college, but they may not have the means to do so. We want people to have the opportunity to get an education regardless of their financial situation.”


UAA | Ian Wheeles ’04

“I’ve been blessed with a career that provides me with more than I need, so it’s important for me to give back and provide for other people.”UAA alumnus Ian Wheeles believes in giving back to his community. This belief is so deeply rooted that 50 percent of all profits generated by his firm, the Law Office of Ian Wheeles, are donated to charitable organizations.

“My real hope is not just to help others, but to help others help others.”

In 2009, Ian established the First Fruits Scholarship for Working Students at UAA to help hard-working
students overcome their financial obstacles and achieve their educational goals. Since then, his scholarship has helped 15 working students alleviate some of the financial burden of pursuing a life-changing education at UAA.

“I put myself in the shoes of anybody applying for a scholarship right now. Every dollar they get from a scholarship is one less dollar they have to earn or go without.”

UAS | Kristin Brown

“Without scholarships and grants, I would not have been able to go to school full-time."Written by UAS social sciences student Carly Ehrisman, and Keni Campbell, UAS Annual Fund & Alumni Relations Manager

For many college students, achieving a Bachelor’s Degree is the main goal while enrolled. Kristin Brown has her bar set much higher. Not only has she acquired her Bachelor’s in Marine Biology at the University of Alaska Southeast, but she is currently in pursuit of her Master’s in Fisheries and Ocean Science. Once that goal is complete, Kristin plans on working toward a Ph.D.

Kristin is a first generation college student, hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. She moved to Juneau in the fall of 2009 in order to attend the University of Alaska Southeast and work toward a degree in marine biology. She is President of the UAS Student Alumni Association and an active member in the Marine Biology Club.  
Kristin has enjoyed how UAS provides a close-knit community on the campus with small class sizes.  She has found that the close interactions with professors create a much more engaging classroom. While earning her undergraduate degree, Kristin took advantage of many research opportunities offered by UAS and the Alaskan community.
“I think that my undergraduate career benefitted most from my being able to gain experience doing actual research and field work through those opportunities.”
Kristin’s enthusiasm and hard work have served her well in college.  This dedicated and ambitious young woman is very appreciative of scholarship sand grants that have allowed her to achieve her goals.  During her undergraduate career at UAS Kristin was awarded scholarships every year, including UAS scholarships from the Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO) Sisterhood chapters D and G, and the Verna Carrigan Memorial Endowment Scholarship.  She was also awarded statewide scholarships from the John Henderson Endowment, the William S. Wilson Memorial Scholarship, the Loyal D. Burkett Memorial Scholarship, and the Richard Mellon Scholarship.  Upon graduation, Kristin was invited to join the PEO Sisterhood Chapter D.
“Without scholarships and grants, I would not have been able to go to school full-time. Instead I would have been working full time, and not have been able to graduate in four years. Scholarships truly motivated me to work hard in my classes and for my degree because someone gave me the chance to do so – a chance that I might not have otherwise had. I think scholarships also pushed me to believe in myself because I am a first generation college student coming from a low-income family. It’s hard to imagine moving away for college without any financial help, but scholarships gave me that opportunity to pursue the degree I’ve always wanted.”

Kristin says living in Juneau has completely re-shaped her life. Since moving here, she has become a more independent person. One could say she has grown into herself since starting her life in Juneau at the University of Alaska Southeast.  Her experiences were made possible by the scholarships awarded to her. To the donors who make such opportunities possible, Kristin would like to say a heartfelt thank you.


“I would not be where I am today, holding my Bachelor’s Degree, without those generous donors.”

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