FAIRBANKS — We are very fortunate to live in a state that has an abundance of natural resources. Alaska is famous for its beauty, mineral riches and abundant wildlife. Many Americans only dream of being able to enjoy the plethora of flora and fauna that we have right out our back doors and at our fingertips. Our vast supplies of gold, natural gas and oil are plentiful enough to make other countries green with envy.
Alaska is blessed with a resource that is also the envy of the nation: our human resources. The people of this great state are what truly make Alaska a wonder among wonders. Some of the most resourceful, creative, energetic and innovative people live right here in the 49th state of the Union.
Helping people reach their full potential and contribute to Alaska’s greatness is the University of Alaska Fairbanks. For decades, UAF has been growing into the fine institution it is today: an educational facility with campuses across the state that guide students along the path to enlightenment, educational and personal epiphanies and employment possibilities.
I am proud to say that I am proof of the saying, “You’re never too old to learn.” Though I have not attended UAF, I have learned that I, too, can contribute to the university’s mission of maximizing human potential. I am just one of many, many individuals that have established a scholarship fund to assist students in their journey towards higher education. The Kyong Hollen Business Scholarship is awarded to two students majoring in business. The scholarship amount is $10,000. It seems like a mere pittance compared to some of the other scholarships established by other businesses and individuals.
I’m not telling you about this scholarship to publicize my efforts. I’m writing this to encourage others, large business or individual contributors, to consider the benefits of establishing a scholarship in your name. It doesn’t have to be a large, multi-year commitment that causes you personal financial stress. On the contrary, the university’s development team will help you set a dollar amount, a payment plan and the award criteria to fit your personal requirements. Establishing a scholarship is truly one of the most gratifying business experiences I have ever undertaken.
When I asked why scholarship support is important to UAF, Chancellor Brian Rogers told me, “Scholarship support is one of the most powerful and important ways to impact the lives of UAF students. Each scholarship UAF awards means students’ lives are changed because of opportunities those gifts present.”
With the creation of this scholarship, I am able to help someone fulfill his or her education dream. And isn’t that one of the best things about being an Alaskan? The willingness to help others reach their own goals? I think so.
I sincerely hope you will consider the possibility of sharing some of your own good fortune with someone else. You may never see the monetary return on your investment … but the payback you get is something you will remember for the rest of your life!
Kyong Hollen of Fairbanks is president of Santina’s Flowers and Gifts and K Janitorial Service.