Maintaining relationships with Alumni and keeping them engaged with NYA and the goals they set for themselves through the program is a top priority for NYA. There are a number of services NYA offers to Alumni that promote this priority including connecting Alumni to resources for education, facilitating opportunities for Alumni to participate in NYA in new capacities, recognizing achievements of alumni and more.
Alumni Board Members
The Board of Directors is responsible for shaping the organization and setting the direction that it will take. The addition of three Alumni to the Board is a major accomplishment as it highlights the responsibility and community spirit of these alumni, as well as allowing for the unique opportunity for those who have participated in the program to help shape its future. Alumni Board positions are an exciting opportunity as they benefit the organization through the input of alumni as well as provide unique and valuable experience to the young individuals who seize this opportunity. This is a particularly exciting time for our organization as we currently have the first Alumni Chair of the Board in Karen Aglukark.
NYA offers opportunities for Alumni to travel to Ottawa and volunteer as facilitators for program orientation and re-orientation sessions each July and August. This experience enables Alumni to stay engaged with NYA and impart their lessons and wisdom to the new generation of participants. Alumni facilitators are able to become better leaders and public speakers while acting as strong role models for younger participants to look up to. The Alumni Facilitator initiative has been effective and grown rapidly.
Alumni Staff Members
NYA has made efforts to incorporate Alumni into its team of employees to harness the experience and perspective Alumni can bring to the organization. Alumni staff members are able to contribute greatly to NYA as they have experienced the program first hand. This is also a way in which NYA is able to provide job opportunities and work experience to our Alumni. NYA’s Alumni Staff Members have included Karen Aglukark of Arviat, NU, Elena Kataluk of Coral Harbour, NU, and April Akeeagok of Grise Fiord, NU.
Mentors play an extremely vital role in the success of Participants. Every Canadian Program Participant requires a mentor who lives in the same community as them who volunteers their time to help guide them through the program and the required assignments – especially during the months leading up to summer placement. Many Alumni have transitioned into mentor roles within their community. Having completed the program themselves, Alumni are able to relate well to Participant’s experience as they go through the program, and have a strong grasp of what is expected of Participants.
Alumni Ambassadors promote and represent NYA in a variety of ways and roles – from encouraging other youth to apply to sharing their own experiences at events, with the media, and other stakeholders.