Bank funds UAS institute

Posted: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

First National Bank of Anchorage has given $96,000 to the University of Alaska Southeast to fund the first three years of a summer Student Leadership Institute.

"The institute will target high school juniors and seniors who plan to attend college and will focus on skills students need to be successful in their freshman year," said UAS Chancellor John Pugh in a prepared statement.

The two-week institute will begin next summer in Juneau with 20 students selected from Southeast high schools, the university said. The grant will pay for all of the students' expenses.

Students will be taught and supervised by UAS faculty and staff, will live on campus and get two college credits. The goal is to develop leadership skills, provide exposure to career opportunities and encourage pursuit of higher education, the university said.

"It just makes good sense to give Southeast Alaskan students this opportunity to be successful in their future college experience," said Betsy Lawer, vice chairwoman and chief operating officer at First National Bank.

College preparatory institutes have been successful nationally and in Alaska, Pugh said.

"Faced with limited resources," he said, "UAS sought a corporate sponsor whose funding would be used to directly target those students who have historically been at the greatest risk of either not continuing their education after high school and/or dropping out of college."

The university intends to fund the institutes after the grant runs out, Pugh said.

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