Thank you from the CHOICE program

Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The CHOICE program, Choosing Healthy Options In Cooperative Education, at Juneau-Douglas High School has had a successful first semester due in part to the community volunteers who took time out of their busy lives to mentor and support our students.

Under the leadership of community volunteers and with financial support from the Learn and Serve: America grant, our freshmen students were able to develop projects that will serve the community. For example, students recorded public service announcements that have been played on the KTOO radio station. Another group, led by volunteers from the AWARE shelter, was entitled "Love Your Body" and the ladies in this group developed a bulletin board for the rest of the school that endorsed healthy relationships and a positive self-image. Sealaska Heritage Institute led a group that passed on the basics of Tlingit carving that could be shared in the community. One group produced a video PSA about drug-use, this was partially funded by the Transitions: Looking Both Ways grant.

A very special thank you to Donald Gregory of Sealaska Heritage Institute; Cristina Reitz and Ati Nasaih from AWARE; Jackie Wagner, NCADD VISTA Volunteer; Ann Schmid; Ken Bungay; and Lisa Ibias. Without your leadership and hard work these wonderful projects would not have been such a success.

The CHOICE Juniors supported their community by interning at local, state, and federal government entities and agencies. The Juniors gave their time to the office of Rep. Beth Kurtula as well as the Pioneers Home, DIPAC, Office of Habitat Management, the State Travel Office, National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council.

We appreciate the time spent by our Junior Government Internship hosts. We would like to recognize the following hosts: Derron Peterson of Centennial Hall; Kathy Fanning of Juneau Pioneers Home; Paula Cadiente from the office of Sen. Kim Elton; Tammy Damien of Alaska Solutions; Kristi Dicostanzo, Carmine DiCostanzo, and Chris Lewis of the Department of Fish and Game; Betty Charles and Mark Jimmerson also of the Juneau Pioneers Home; Emily Souza and Rich Mattson from DIPAC; Mike Hoyle of Fireweed Place; Kate Kanouse and Sheila Cameron from the Office of Habitat Management; Sunny Isrealson of the State Travel Office; Linda Wahl of the American Red Cross; Aurora Hauke from the office of Rep. Beth Kerttula; Matt Felix of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence; and Laura Vidic of SEACC.

CHOICE would also like to recognize the ongoing support being given to our Sophomores as they mentor elementary school children at Harborview Elementary School and intern at local businesses. Special thanks to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast, the Imagination Station, Juneau Bowling Center, Gravity Plan, Perseverance Theatre, the Office of Habitat Management, Les Schwab, Silverbow Inn, Fitness Essentials, POWTEC, NCADD, Tlingit and Haida, Alaskan AIDS Assistance Association the Department of Labor and Capitol Records.

Jennifer Knaggs

CHOICE VISTA, Juneau-Douglas High School


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