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UAA celebrates fifth anniversary of Tom Case Leadership Fellows Junior program

by Green & Gold News  |   

Clark Middle School graduates of the CBPP Tom Case Leadership Fellows Junior program
At Clark Middle School, students who graduated from the Tom Case Leadership Fellows Junior program received an iPad donation from Northrim Bank and UAA's College of Business and Public Policy. (Photo credit: UAA's College of Business and Public Policy)

Thanks to a generous donation from Northrim Bank, UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy (CBPP) was able to distribute iPads to students at Anchorage’s Clark Middle School who graduated from the Tom Case Leadership Fellows Junior program. UAA collaborated with Clark to host a social distance event on June 17 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the program, distribute the iPads and mark the graduation of this year’s student participants, who will move on to high school in the fall.

 The Leadership Fellows Junior program was established in 2015 by UAA Professor of Leadership and Business Administration Terry Nelson and Clark Principal Cessilye Williams, a UAA alumna. The junior program mirrors UAA’s Tom Case Leadership Fellows program and focuses on helping adolescent students improve their leadership skills. Students are selected by Clark staff through a comprehensive application process. Participants attend leadership development classes that emphasize negotiation, ethics, public speaking, etiquette and tips for a successful college experience. Students are also mentored by UAA faculty and staff as well as undergraduate and graduate students who participate in the college-level Leadership Fellows program.

“This is a true pipeline to higher education for the students,” said Nelson. “I know this program is making a difference.”

The iPad donation helps these students continue their studies at home and eases the burden of technological barriers many families are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The celebratory event, which was held at Clark Middle School, featured speeches from Nelson, Williams and one of the participating students, Kailene Vea-Spencer, as well as UAA Chancellor Cathy Sandeen, CBPP Interim Dean John Nofsinger, Anchorage School District (ASD) Superintendent Deena Bishop and Northrim AVP and Community & Public Relations Manager Katie Bender. The donation and subsequent event exemplify valuable relationships between UAA, ASD and generous community partners who help cultivate a love for education and a passion for leadership.

“This is a program that provides pathways from middle school to high school to college. I’m proud of the time, energy and resources invested in this program by UAA, ASD, Northrim Bank and the students themselves,” said Sandeen. 

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