Choosing a career and going to college is a daunting challenge that strikes fear in many, especially those like myself, who, at a young age, had family obligations that required me to focus solely on making money. At the age of 14, I worked at a grocery store while attending high school, participating in a Youth Health and Development Program, and tending to family obligations. A lot for a 14-year-old to manage. This early experience cultivated my dreams of pursuing a career in a field where I could reach out to others and develop my knowledge and skills.
Straight out of high school, my focus was my family, working two jobs to make ends meet. As I became increasingly dissatisfied with my jobs', there was a turning point in my life. In 2006, my son was born. I wanted more for my son and knew I had to go to college. That same year I enrolled at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Knowing I wanted to be in a field that helped people, I registered for a degree in Human Services and Social Welfare. In 2011, I graduated with an Associates in Human Services, and this was also the year I gain my first insight into human resources.
My first taste of human resources started at Chugach Alaska Corporation as a Benefits Assistant. This experience taught me that Human Resources is crucial to the organization's success while also helping people. I knew this was the field for me. To grow in my career, I had to return to school for a Bachelor's degree. After searching for a suitable academic program, the Bachelors in Human Resources at the University of Alaska, Southeast, become my top choice. The school offered the flexibility of online classes. In addition to the academic benefits, the school also provided a virtual UAS SHRM Student Chapter. I joined the student chapter, started as the chapter's Secretary, and eventually became the President.
Chugach Heritage Foundation provided me the opportunity to devote more of my time and attention to my studies and my academic club without the worry of how I will afford everything. I am humbly grateful to all of Chugach for the scholarships and career opportunities. My advice to new students is never to give up and never be too prideful to ask for help. Like the saying, "it takes a village to raise a child," it takes a village to support one another.