Alumni Bursary Winner Profiles

Northern Youth Abroad awarded $500 to each of the Alumni Bursary winners to aid them with the financial burden of pursuing post-secondary education. You can read about each of their achievements, academic pursuits and community volunteer endeavours below. Please be aware that unless otherwise noted, the profiles are not updated and reflect the time period in which the bursary was granted.

2016 Alumni Bursary Winners

Art Sateana

Art participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2013 and had is work placement in Ottawa, Ontario. While in Ottawa, Art participated in a “mini med school” program at the University of Ottawa which helped fuel his desire of becoming a doctor. He is currently in his second year of a Health Careers Access Program at the University of Manitoba and hopes to attend medical school upon completing his studies in Winnipeg. Prior to attending the University of Manitoba, Art attended Nunavut Sivunuksavut (NS) in Ottawa, where he studied Nunavut Land Claims Agreement, politics, and Inuit culture. While studying at NS Art took on a leadership position as a Student Representative on the Board of Directors. Art plans to utilize his education to play a big role in contributing to the future growth of Nunavut.

Beth Aglukark

Beth Aglukark, from Arviat, participated in the the NYA Canadian Program in 2014 and NYA International Program in 2015. She is currently enrolled in the Office Administration Program at Nunavut Arctic College. In this program Beth is learning essential business skills that will help prepare her for taking a more advanced university degree in the future. In Arviate Beth volunteered with local community members often through participating in bake sales helping prepare the baked goods along with selling them. Throughout her volunteering she learned that not matter what was going on, there is aways a way to give back the community and that there are always people willing to give their time and support. Beth is passionate about the future of Arviat and is proud of the programs and activities the community has to offer but most importantly the people that make the community. She hopes Arviat will be able to provide more employment opportunities for people in the community that are willing and looking for work. One solution that Beth believes could help resolve this problem is if there was more information and education available to young adults about the skills needed for certain careers and how to search for different career opportunities. Beth plans to harness the skills she is gaining from her post-secondary education to help lead both her community and territory further into the future and give back all the support they gave her.

Chelsea Qammaniq

Chelsea participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2015 and volunteered
with children at the Laichwiltach Family Life Society in Campbell River, British
Columbia. She worked as a camp leader and helped with cultural activities,
including sharing songs in Inuktitut with the kids. Chelsea says that NYA helped
her identify her strengths and know how she can contribute to her community
through activities and events. She is now in the Office Administration Program
at Nunavut Arctic College because she wants to become a secretary at the
high school in Pond Inlet. Chelsea plans on returning home to coach girls’
basketball after she completes the program. She says activities help bring out
people’s pride and joy, which she would like to see more of in her community.

2015 Alumni Bursary Winners

Art Sateana

Art Sateana

 

Brandon Etsemba Sangris

Brandon Etsemba Sangris has been busy since he completed the NYA Canadian and International Programs in 2010 and 2011. Moving from N’dilo to Toronto in 2011, Brandon started in the Media and Communications Foundations program at Centennial College. He went on to complete an apprenticeship program at George Brown College in the spring of 2014, and spent the following few months working with urban Aboriginal youth as a camp counsellor. Education is an important goal for Brandon and he has persevered despite the financial difficulties of living on his own in Toronto. Brandon says he has drawn on the crucial life skills such as independence and self-reliance that he developed during his time in NYA. Brandon is now enrolled in the Broadcasting and Television Program at Seneca College. His goal is to get a job as a camera operator in the next 3 years. Brandon returns home in between school semesters to help provide for his family by hunting with his father, going trapping, and hauling firewood. He has also been active in his community, working in an after-school program with youth. Brandon received the Youth of the Year Award in 2011 for his involvement in the Justice Committee Council in N’dilo. He hopes to be an example of leadership to other youth in his community by demonstrating different career choices and the importance of education.

1DFDC868-8BAE-4FF5-8FAA-EAEC42F551D129A125E2-5CBE-49FA-A601-C1CD6C5CFEC1Jacqueline Gon

Jacqueline Gon, from Behchoko, completed the NYA Canadian Program in 2013, subsequently completing the International Program the following year. Jacqueline credits NYA with improving her leadership skills and providing an experience where she could overcome challenges and increase her mental strength. Jacqueline is passionate about helping others improve their lives and making positive social changes in her community. Currently she is pursuing a Bachelor of Physical Education at the Grande Prairie Regional College. Upon graduation Jacqueline wishes to work  within the Northwest Territories promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles.

Jasmine Estemba-Sangris

Jasmine is currently in her first year of study in the Esthetician program at Algonquin College. Jasmine first participated in NYA in 2012, completing the Canadian Program. Through her completion of the International Program in 2014, Jasmine experienced what it is like to live on a university campus during the Ottawa portion of the Program. She credits this experience as preparing her for pursuing the Esthetician program this year. Upon completing her schooling, Jasmine hopes to return to Yellowknife and work in a local spa. Since completing NYA, Jasmine has also been involved in many volunteer initiatives, such as helping with after school programs for children and volunteering at the local gym.

DSC_0939Justina Black

Justina first participated in NYA in 2010, where she placed in Richmond, BC. Upon completing the Canadian Program Justina returned to N’dilo to finish high school and then worked as a Student Support Worker. Through these experiences Justina realized a passion for working with, education, and inspiring children. In 2014 Justina completed the NYA International program, where she spent three weeks at Algonquin College before travelling to Guatemala. Since completing the International Program Justina has been busy pursuing post-secondary studies. She began by studying at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning and is now working towards a combined Bachelor of Arts (Native Studies) and Bachelor of Education. Upon graduating Justina hopes to become a teacher within her community – servicing youth and promoting the importance of education.

imageKaytlyn Amitnak

Kaytlyn Amitnak participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2014 where she was placed in Salmon Arm, BC. Through her experience with NYA Kaytlyn claims that she has seen a big improvement in her confidence and professional communication skills. Additionally, Kaytlyn is thankful for the budgeting skills which she acquire as a Canadian Program participant as they have been beneficial in preparing her for her post-secondary education experience. Kaytlyn is currently in her first year of the Inuit Studies program at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, in Ottawa. This program has further motivated Kaytlyn’s desire to help create a better future for Nunavut, specifically within her home community of Baker Lake. Kaytlyn hopes to contribute by raising funds and volunteering, specifically for the cause of improved recreational facilities. Upon finishing her post-secondary education, Kaytlyn hopes to pursue a career in law.

photoMaria Illungiayok

Maria Illungiayok is in her third year of the Nunavut Teacher Education Program (NTEP) at Nunavut Arctic College. Having been out of school for almost a decade, Maria returned to school in 2013 to complete the College’s Foundation year as her first step towards a teaching degree. Maria had previously worked as a casual Student Support Assistant and occasionally substituted at the middle school in Arviat. She decided she wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Education in the NTEP program so that she can support her daughter and be a good role model to her. Maria participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2002, graduated from high school in 2003 and went on to participate in in the International Program in 2003. Maria credits NYA as helping her become more independent and able to access more opportunities, such as Nunavut Sivuniksavut, which Maria attended in 2003-2004. She has been travelling all over Canada and abroad ever since, including trips to Ireland, the UK, and Belize. Maria is a professional throat singer and performed for the Victory Ceremonies in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. At home, Maria is a member of Arviat Qaggiqtiit, a cultural group that throat sings, drum dances, and performs traditional songs for special events and tourists.

IMG_0559Nancy Aqqaq

Nancy is from Gjoa Haven and took part in both NYA Programs in 2006 and 2007. After completing the first year of the Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) in 2012-13, Nancy has proudly returned to attend the second year of the program this year. Nancy cites NYA as helping to better prepare her for understanding and experiencing living in the south. She is currently studying political science, circumpolar, research and implementation. NYA has helped Nancy gain confidence, by teaching her to work hard, and by helping her develop important life skills such as independence. Through her assignments, she interviewed positive role models, and this has helped motivate her to pursue further education.

Volunteering has also impacted Nancy’s life; it has allowed her to contribute more to her community, through tasks such as making lunches and cleaning up for Junior Canadian Rangers. Nancy has always been helpful to her community, and encouraged youth to stay in school. Her hopes for the future are to lower the high suicide rate in Nunavut; she believes this can be done by bringing community members together with positive role models like herself.

After participating in NYA, Nancy hopes to become a board member for an organization to make a difference in her community, particularly by improving education for Nunavummiut.

image1Simon Hiqiniq

Simon has participated in both of the NYA programs – having completed Canadian in 2003, and subsequently the International program where his group travelled to Otse, Bostwana. Simon has enthusiastically returned to school this year after 8 years off in the workforce. He is currently in his first year of study in the Office Administration Program at Algonquin College, in Ottawa. Simon plans to specialize in Executive Administration. Simon first learnt of Algonquin College when he was placed with a host family in Kemptville while participating in the NYA Canadian Program. Aside from introducing him to post-secondary options, Simon credits participating in NYA as providing him with travel experience, and furthering his communication and presentation skills.

2014 Alumni Bursary Winners

Art Sateana

See updated bio above

Brandon Etsemba SangrisBrandon Etsemba Sangris

See updated bio above

 

Brian NitsizaBrian Nitsiza

Since completing the NYA Canadian and International Programs in 2008 and 2009, Bryan Nitsiza has enrolled in the Trades Access Program at the Thebacha Campus of Aurora College in Fort Smith. Bryan is getting experience in a wide range of trades, including plumbing, carpentry, electrical, and welding. He plans to become an entrepreneur in one of these areas once he graduates. Bryan has also set his sights on opening a business in Whatì such as a hotel, café or store in order to create more jobs in his community. Bryan’s experiences in Ottawa, Winnipeg, and Botswana during his participation in NYA have sparked an interest in continuing to travel. He has since gone to Whitehorse and Regina with the NWT Youth Ambassador Program, and is planning a trip to Toronto for summer 2015. Bryan has gotten involved in his community through the Junior Canadian Rangers program and has encouraged youth to apply to NYA. Bryan wants to continue to help youth travel, apply for jobs, and change their lives as he says NYA did for him.

Josephine MartinJosephine Martin

Josephine Martin participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2011 and discovered through her placement at the United Way in Pembroke, Ontario, that she really enjoys helping people. Volunteering as an assistant to full-time staff members, this experience introduced her to working with people in a variety of situations. Josephine enjoyed assisting clients to make positive changes in their lives. Josephine says NYA exposed her to experiences outside of her home community, Inuvik, and guided her down a good path. Once she returned home, Josephine took some time to care for her young daughter and then worked hard to finish high school. She has since started post-secondary studies in the Social Work Access Program at Aurora College. Josephine plans to achieve a Certificate in Social Work and work full-time in her community supporting families in need. She sees a brighter future for herself and her community, and aspires to actively contribute to both.

Keisha NivingalokKeisha Nivingalok

Keisha Nivingalok participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2014 and is now in her first year at Nunavut Sivuniksavut. Keisha’s experiences in Ottawa and on Salt Spring Island during the NYA Program helped her become more adaptable to change and more confident in new work and school situations. Keisha also feels she is better able to make decisions that reflect her career and personal goals. At NS, Keisha is becoming more comfortable talking in front of large groups, learning more about her culture, and gaining a better understanding of her career options. Keisha hopes that more youth in her community and territory will participate in programs and graduate high school. Upon her return home, Keisha plans to volunteer with cultural programs in Kugluktuk and do a presentation for youth about NYA and NS.

Kerri TattuineeKerri Tattuinee

Kerri Tattuinee completed the NYA Canadian Program in 2004 and the International Program in 2005. She appreciated the opportunity to be exposed to different cultures and get some volunteer experience before going on to post-secondary education. Since graduating from high school, Kerri has attended Nunavut Sivuniksavut and worked for the Government of Nunavut in several departments in both Iqaluit and Rankin Inlet, her hometown. She has additionally worked with Canadian Roots Exchange in Toronto where she networked with youth across the country. Her latest work experience was during the summer of 2014 as Acting Executive Director of a regional women’s shelter and community daycare run by the Kataujaq Society, where Kerri gained lots of practical skills. After studying for two years at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Kerri decided to move closer to home and finish her degree in more familiar surroundings. She is now completing her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Politics and History at the University of Winnipeg.

Maria IlungiayokMaria Illungiayok

See updated bio above

Tsiwa ApplesTs’iwa Apples

When Ts’iwa Apples participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2012, it was her first time living away from her home community of Gamètì. She describes her Canadian Program experience as challenging and thought-provoking, during which she learned a lot about herself and her future goals. Ts’iwa discovered she enjoys working with people and set her sights on the field of education. After being named valedictorian of her high school graduating class of 2014, Ts’iwa enrolled in Early Learning and Childcare at Grande Prairie Regional College in Alberta. She thinks her natural creativity and leadership skills make her a good fit for the program. Ts’iwa is considering working towards a Bachelor of Education Degree. Once she graduates, Ts’iwa plans to return to the Northwest Territories and guide younger generations as a teacher or childcare provider.

2013 Alumni Bursary Winners

Ipellie OotoovaIpellie Ootoova

Ipellie has a long list of accomplishments to his name since completing the Canadian Program in 2008. After taking part in an acting workshop in 2009, Ipellie made two short films for the Embrace Life Council – Suicide Prevention, and starred in two movies, The White Archer in 2010, and Maina in 2013, for which he was nominated for a Best Actor Award at the American Indian Film Festival. He was also captain of the volleyball team at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games and coached junior boys volleyball in his home community of Pond Inlet.

Ipellie is currently attending Nunavut Sivuniksavut in Ottawa, with plans to attend further post-secondary school in the future. Ultimately, Ipellie says he wants to continue making movies and being a leader in his community. To do that, he says he has to know his Nunavut history and develop strong Inuktitut speaking skills. Ipellie acknowledges the role of Northern Youth Abroad in helping him experience new things, meet new people, and showing him how great and beautiful the world is.

Kelly KarpikKelly Karpik

Kelly is from Pangnirtung and is currently enrolled in the Nunavut Teachers Education Program (NTEP), through Nunavut Arctic College and the University of Regina. After completing the NYA Canadian Program, Kelly was keen to learn more about Inuit culture and history, so she applied for and completed Nunavut Sivuniksavut in Ottawa. Kelly is in her final semester in NTEP and once she finishes her plan is to give back to her community in a leadership role. Kelly chose teaching because she believes education plays a key role in making opportunities available to young Nunavummiut, and is a crucial ingredient for a healthier and happier future.

Kelly has high hopes for Nunavut in the future. She would like to see the Inuit people governing their own territory, housing shortages and poverty reduced to a minimum, for education to exceed the current standards, and for institutions to be available for people who need help with addictions, counselling, and more.

Kelly says Northern Youth Abroad allowed her to grow as a person, understand the value of life, and be grateful for what she has.

Paula RumboltPaula Rumbolt

Paula is enrolled in the creative writing program at Concordia University in Montreal. Initially a student in the anthropology program, Paula transferred to creative writing after finding the First Peoples Studies courses did not allow for cultural change, meaning historical Aboriginal stereotypes stay the same. Having turned her attention to writing, Paula says she is using it as a tool to teach readers about the Inuit culture from an Inuk perspective. Through her writing, Paula feels she is taking a stand against social issues and injustices, while bringing attention to the traditional stories that have been passed on for genera­tions.

Paula’s ultimate goal is to become a teacher to young children, and she’s already laying the foundation for that, having written a set of plays in Inuktitut to help teach kids how speak the language in an immersive environment.

Paula still gives back to her community of Baker Lake. When she is home she teaches throat singing and drum dancing, and helps out with the Baker Lake Against Suicide Team.

Update: In September 2013, Paula had her first book published. The Legend of Lightning and Thunder is an illustrated account of a traditional Inuit story, directed towards children in order to promote and preserve Inuit culture in younger generations.

Adam MackenzieAdam MacKenzie

Adam is currently attending Grande Prairie Regional Col­lege, earning academic upgrades in order to put him in a position to apply to post-secondary school. Adam says the opportunity to travel to southern Canada in 2011 and experience the big city life inspired him. He believes a college education in the south is the best way to achieve his goals.

The best way Adam believes he can give back is to work for the same types of organizations that helped him, such as Northern Youth Abroad and Canada World Youth. He’s particularly interested in history and believes it’s something he would enjoy studying. Adam maintains a positive outlook and believes anything can be accomplished through hard work.

Brandon Etsemba SangrisBrandon Etsemba Sangris

Brandon is passionate about the field of Broadcasting and Film, and is currently studying Communications and Media Foundations at Centennial College in Toronto in preparation for further studies and work in this industry. Brandon had a work placement related to film while participating in the NYA Program in 2010, when he volunteered at a movie theatre in Langley, British Columbia. Brandon went on to complete the NYA International Program the following year, allowing him to learn about diverse cultures.

One of Brandon’s goals is to be a good role model for younger generations, which he is working towards in various capacities in his home community of N’dilo, NT. Brandon worked at the Chekoa Afterschool Program for six months, mentoring youth and helping them with their schoolwork. He also volunteered with the community’s Justice Committee, a group of volunteers who hear the cases of young offenders and try to promote reconciliation. Furthermore, Brandon received the 2011 Youth of the Year Award from the Akaitcho Territory Government for all of his efforts in recognition of his “contribution, dedication, and perseverance to the betterment of our Treaty 8 communities.”

Brandon thinks it’s important to keep his cultural traditions strong and often helps his family by going out hunting and trapping with his father, and by hauling firewood in the winter. With his education and trade skills, Brandon hopes to contribute to a better future for his community and set an example of leadership and community involvement. He attributes some of his success in post-secondary education to the NYA program, which he says has enabled him to make long‐term friendships, gain valuable skills, and gain independence.

Jordan CooperJordan Cooper

Jordan comes from Baker Lake and completed the Canadian Phase in 2006, and chose to take a year off before embarking on the International Phase in Africa for 6 weeks. His trip to Botswana sparked Jordan’s interest in the international community, and upon his return to school, Jordan began to volunteer with WUSC, a group which assists refugee students in furthering their studies in Canada.

In his first year of university Jordan was not entirely sure of what type of program he wanted to enrol in, but as the year went on, he developed an interest in studying Interactive System Design. Jordan has always enjoyed playing video games, browsing the Internet and such, and it was not long after he began the program that he realized Interactive System Design was the right fit for him.

He is now in the third year of his program, expects to graduate within the year and dreams of eventually owning his own tech company. Coming from a small community and gaining the experiences of travel and contributing to his own local community through NYA have provided Jordan with the confidence to pursue his dreams.

SONY DSC Trina Qaqqaq

Trina’s love of sports has led her to the Sport and Leisure Management program at Holland College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She enjoys playing, watching, and coaching sports, and by extension loves being around people and getting to know them and their cultures a little better. When she’s finished her program, she intends to enter the business side of sports, either running a facility or managing a program.

In her home community of Baker Lake, Trina has coached girls soccer and hockey, and while doing so, helped the players fundraise for travel to Yellowknife and Rankin Inlet. Demonstrating her commitment to education, Trina has spent time as a substitute teacher in Baker Lake, maintaining her reputation as a role model within the community.

Once she’s finished school in PEI, Trina plans to return to Baker Lake to contribute further to sports in the community. With such a high number of suicides in her community, Trina believes sport is one way to curb that, giving young people an escape and a way to keep their minds off the difficulties in their lives, if only for a little while. Trina is also contemplating other types of clubs and programs in order to engage youth who do not take an interest in sports.

Trina says Northern Youth Abroad has helped her in a number of ways, allowing her to meet amazing people and experience many amazing things. In return for the growth she has experienced through NYA, Trina has committed to giving back to the program through volunteering.

James KoomakJames Koomak

James has big plans for his future after taking part in the NYA Canadian Program in 2011. He is currently at­tending St. Clair College in Windsor, Ontario for Medical Office Administration, and as a bilingual Inuktitut and English speaker plans to work as an inter­preter at the health centre in his home community of Arviat. Ultimately, James plans to take the Nunavut Teachers’ Education Program.

James hopes to see the graduation rate in his home community rise, allowing young people the opportunity to get better, higher paying jobs instead of dropping out and relying on social services.

Janelle PierrotJanelle Pierrot

Janelle has reached heights she never thought possible since completing the NYA Canadian Program. While in high school Janelle struggled with her marks, but she persevered and ultimately graduated in 2009, receiving top marks and the Governor General’s Award. She then enrolled in the Office Administration program at Aurora College in Fort Smith, where she graduated in 2011 before returning to Fort Good Hope to work for her Land Corpora­tion. Janelle returned to Fort Smith in 2012 to get a diploma in Business Administration, and intends to obtain her degree from the University of Lethbridge in future years.

In her home community, Janelle helps out by volunteering her time. She says she has encouraged a number of young people to finish school or go to college, and has even helped them with their applications. She hopes the younger generation in Fort Good Hope continues to strive for education, and one day, she even hopes to see a university in the Northwest Territories.

2012 Alumni Bursary Winners

Stevie NandeStevie Nande

Stevie is from Fort Liard, NT, and first participated in NYA’s Canadian Program in 2008. He completed the International Program in 2009, and in 2010 he became the first male recipient of the NYA Alumni Award.

Northern Youth Aboard has changed Stevie’s life dramatically. He gained the confidence and independence needed to participate in a Canada World Youth program which took him abroad for 6 months in 2011. He enjoyed the new skills and perspective he acquired through his first travels with NYA, and enjoyed meeting many new people from different communities. Additionally, Stevie has achieved many things he never thought possible, such as graduating from high school and immediately enrolling in a post-secondary program. Volunteering in Fort Liard has also changed his life and he continues to demonstrate an effort to contribute to his community.

After Stevie finished the NYA program, he gained the confidence he needed to open up to the community. Aware of his potential, Steve continues to challenge himself and works hard to meet his personal life goals. He enjoys acting, and is currently enrolled in a two year Theatre Arts Program at Algonquin College in Ottawa, and is halfway through his first year.

Julian GonJulian Gon

Julian participated in the 2009 Canadian Phase, and the 2010 International Phase. He enjoyed every minute of both programs, as they helped prepare him for college. Julian attends Grand Prairie Regional College for Business Administration, and aims to complete this program within the year.

Julian has always planned to contribute to his home community of Behchokǫ, and as a participant in the NYA programs, this goal was put into action, and did not just remain on his “To Do List”. Julian enjoyed volunteering, and his time spent doing so raised his hopes for his community. Julian hopes for a repaired recreational centre, and a better housing infrastructure budget in Behchokǫ. For the territory as a whole, Julian hopes to see more adequate environmental plans for mines and dealing with waste facilities. Julian recognizes that he is able to make a difference, and hopes to one day become involved in politics to witness his dreams for NWT and Behchokǫ become a reality.

Jordan CooperJordan Cooper

Jordan comes from Baker Lake and completed the Canadian Phase in 2006, and chose to take a year off before embarking on the International Phase in Africa for 6 weeks. His trip to Botswana sparked Jordan’s interest in the international community, and upon his return to school, Jordan began to volunteer with WUSC, a group which assists refugee students in furthering their studies in Canada.

In his first year of university Jordan was not entirely sure of what type of program he wanted to enrol in, but as the year went on, he developed an interest in studying Interactive System Design. Jordan has always enjoyed playing video games, browsing the Internet and such, and it was not long after he began the program that he realized Interactive System Design was the right fit for him.

He is now in the third year of his program, expects to graduate within the year and dreams of eventually owning his own tech company. Coming from a small community and gaining the experiences of travel and contributing to his own local community through NYA have provided Jordan with the confidence to pursue his dreams.

Kerri TattuineeKerri Tattuinee

Kerri was inspired to apply to the NYA program by some of the organization’s alumni in her hometown of Rankin Inlet. She is currently attending Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she is studying Political Science in hopes of becoming further involved with the policies of Canada’s youngest territory, Nunavut. She has been “preaching” to the younger generation to get involved with any kind of programs to help further their future. Kerri has been able to give many presentations about her own culture, and present her peers with a clear understanding of how Inuit live. She is very proud of being a young Inuk, and feels grateful to be able to educate other people about her culture. Additionally, Kerri has worked at The Inuit Organization to understand more of what these types of organizations do to help Inuit, and what their mandates are.

Kerri has also completed one year at Nunavut Sivuniksavut, which she enrolled in following her first and second year of participation in the NYA program. This helped her develop a greater sense of confidence in herself, and allowed her to recognize what she can offer to her community. Kerri feels NYA has provided her with much potential, and shown her how much life has to offer.

Kelli McLartyKelli McLarty

Kelli is originally from Rankin Inlet, and participated in the 2006 Canadian Phase followed by the 2007 International Phase. Kelli credits NYA with greatly impacting her life. She has always been passionate about teaching, and has always wanted to attend post-secondary school to further her education, knowing that doing so in the south would be the most beneficial. However, Kelli had great fears about living in and attending university in the south, but after facing so many of her fears in the Canadian Phase, she felt more prepared to move away from home for post-secondary schooling. Kelli is now attending school in Lethbridge, Alberta and is on her 5th year towards earning a Bachelor of Kinesiology/Bachelor of Education Degree.

While doing her practicum, Kelli has travelled abroad to teach English as a Second Language. Kelli has recently traveled to Nepal as well as Poland, sharing her culture as well as her knowledge of the English language. She has come a long way from overcoming her own fears, and believes that NYA has shaped her into a good role model to the community of Rankin Inlet.

Kelli hopes that one day she will able to instill the values she learned at NYA, such as perseverance, courage, and dedication, as these have deeply enriched Kelli’s life.

Valerie KogvekValerie Kogvek

Valerie was only 16 years old when she participated in the program in 2006.  Valerie claims NYA has changed her life for the better, and helped her realize the opportunities that exist outside of her home community of Gjoa Haven. Once Valerie completed the program, she graduated high school in 2008, and immediately moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia, where she participated in the Aboriginal Bridging Program.  Wishing to continue furthering her education, Valerie enrolled in Nunavut Sivuniksavut. She is now in her second year of the program, and is considering becoming a politician one day.

Valerie’s hope is to help solve ongoing problems in Nunavut, which have not received the attention they deserve. One of these challenges is to ensure safer homes for residents. Valerie believes working together as a community, and listening to elders as well as young generations is the best solution for all these problems.  As an NYA Alumna, Valerie says she will continue to recommend the program to young people. She believes that the program is a safe and worthwhile experience and shows youth how to become independent and gain confidence.

Murina SabourinMurina Sabourin

Born and raised in Fort Providence, Murina Sabourin is a member of Dene First Nations. She finished the Canadian Phase in 2006 and completed the International Phase a year later. Murina is attending Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario to certify as a social service worker, and is in the final stretch of the two year program.

Murina participated in various programs after completing her two summers with Northern Youth Abroad, and continued to volunteer within her home community. She claims that her participation in these programs and ongoing volunteer work has made her a good role model for northern youth. In 2011, Murina was chosen as the first Alumni Group Leader, accompanying one of the groups to Botswana in a leadership capacity. She was also a recipient of the 2012 Outstanding Alumni Award.

Murina has learned that working within a group is a very good way to learn the value of teamwork, develop leadership skills, and to see other cultures. This helped her to decide on her social service program, as she experienced first-hand the benefits of learning and sharing new skills.

Maria IllungayukMaria Illungayuk

Maria completed the Canadian Phase of the NYA Program in 2002, and the International Phase a year later. She has lived in Arviat, Nunavut her whole life, and is currently taking College Foundations at Nunavut Arctic College- a year of courses which will prepare her to enter her program at the Nunavut Teachers Education Program. Maria has always been interested in teaching kids, and has a two year old daughter of her own.

Maria’s desire to make a difference in Nunavut and her community became more pronounced after she participated in the Northern Youth Abroad Programs.  Always proud of her culture, Maria wants to become an Inuktitut Teacher in order to teach Inuit Qaujimajatuqngait, and Inuit values and beliefs, history.

Maria has also had the opportunity to travel around the world to share a skill she learned in her home community: throat singing. Her talent has allowed her to travel to England, Ireland, Belize, and Africa. Maria states that youth and Elders in her community became more impressed by her after her experiences with NYA, and that both Phases taught her to become more independent.

Arielle TinquiArielle Tinqui

Arielle participated in Northern Youth Abroad’s Canadian and International Phases in 2010 and in 2011 respectively. She credits these programs with giving her the confidence and motivation to attend college, which has always been a goal in her life. Arielle explains that accomplishing such a goal is a phenomenal feeling and that once she completes her Personal Support Worker Program she plans to learn more about health care that she could provide to her community of Behchokǫ.

For as long as she could remember, Arielle has always wanted to make a difference in her community, and dedicate her life to improving the lives of people in her home town.

NYA shaped her perspective to care more for her community, through travelling and volunteering. Arielle wants to show the community the importance of graduating and participating in programs run by various organizations; she wants youth to know how much they can offer to their communities. Arielle also believes that teaching people about her culture will maintain her community’s values and traditions for years to come.

Nancy AqqaqNancy Aqqaq

Nancy is from Gjoa Haven and took part in both NYA Programs in 2006 and 2007. She is now in her first year with Nunavut Sivuniksavut, in Ottawa, Ontario, and hopes to be an environmental technician. NYA has helped Nancy gain confidence, by teaching her to work hard, and by helping her develop important life skills such as independence. Through her assignments, she interviewed positive role models, and this helped motivate her to pursue further education.

Volunteering has also impacted Nancy’s life; it has allowed her to contribute more to her community, through tasks such as making lunches and cleaning up for Junior Canadian Rangers. Nancy has always been helpful to her community, and encouraged youth to stay in school. Her hopes for the future are to lower the high suicide rate in Nunavut; she believes this can be done by bringing community members together with positive role models like herself.

After participating in NYA, Nancy hopes to become a board member for an organization to make a difference in her community, particularly by improving education for Nunavummiut.

2011 Alumni Bursary Winners

Miranda StewartMiranda Stewart

Miranda has always been passionate about taking care of other people in her home community of Fort McPherson, NT. She has always enjoyed learning from others by hearing Elders’ stories and watching children grow, which she says gives her a great deal of inspiration and encouragement. Miranda recognizes the important role of both these groups in the community, drawing on the teachings of her grandmother.

These interests and a constant willingness to help others have led Miranda to enrol in the Personal Support Worker Program at Aurora College in Yellowknife. She is learning the necessary skills to be able to provide everyday care and social support services, including assisting individuals with a range of disabilities. Miranda finds her program very rewarding, as she remarks “I believe in making a difference within myself, my community, my people, and wherever else I am needed.”

Prior to attending college, Miranda explored some of her interests while participating in the NYA Canadian Program in 2007. She was placed in the small town of Ayr, Ontario and she volunteered at a day camp for kids. She reflects on the experience by saying, “Travelling and going on adventures have helped me shape who I am today.”

Annalisa ArnatsiaqAnnalisa Arnatsiaq

Annalisa participated in the NYA Canadian Program in 2007 and completed the International Program the following summer. Through the NYA programming, Annalisa learned that further education is a good step towards more possibilities in life. She has since graduated from high school and completed a one-year College Foundations program at Arctic College in Iqaluit. Due to her diverse interests, Annalisa is considering many career paths such as teaching, nursing, law, and political office. In the meantime, she has started studying at Nunavut Sivuniksavut because she wanted to learn more about her background, the creation of Nunavut, and land claims processes.

Annalisa is working on her personal goals of becoming more independent and learning to live on her own. When she is at home in Igloolik, Nunavut, Annalisa is very active in the community as she believes “working together as a team creates a happier community.” Annalisa volunteers for the Igloolik Student/Youth Council, ice picking for elders and helping with community clean‐ups. She also volunteered at the Rockin’ Walrus Arts Festival, which is a new festival that brings together artists and musicians from all across Nunavut to Igloolik. Annalisa is a motivated youth who one day wants to help Nunavut gain independence. She writes, “I want to be one of the people that make Inuit proud.”

Arna AudlalukArqnarulunnguaq (Arna) Audlaluk

Upon completing NYA’s International Program in 2010, Arna returned to her home community of Grise Fiord, Nunavut, with a newfound enthusiasm for her life back home. She found she had more energy for her daily tasks such as helping out around the house, cooking meals, and catching seals to feed to her father’s dog team. Arna then participated in a two‐week conference in Iqaluit run by the Baffin Regional Youth Council which inspired her to re-form the youth committee in Grise Fiord. Shortly thereafter, Arna was accepted to a Katimavik program where she spent one month in Calgary learning about the working culture in Western Canada. This was followed by three months in Iqaluit where Arna observed what it was like for the non-Inuit members of the group to experience life in the Arctic. After the program, Arna returned home and began working at the Co-op Store. She continued to pursue her interest in youth engagement by applying for a grant from the Government of Nunavut, along with another youth, to establish a language program in the community. They succeeded and will be starting up the program, which involves working with Elders to strengthen the teaching of Inuktitut to youth.

Currently, Arna is attending an eight-month program at Nunavut Sivuniksavut (NS) in Ottawa. She hopes to use the knowledge she is gaining at NS to teach the younger generation about Inuit history, contemporary issues, and the successes of Nunavummiut. Reflecting on her NYA experience, Arna thanks the program for helping her to determine what she would like to do in the future and for introducing her to the importance of volunteering.

Brandon Etsemba SangrisBrandon Etsemba Sangris

Brandon is passionate about the field of Broadcasting and Film, and is currently studying Communications and Media Foundations at Centennial College in Toronto in preparation for further studies and work in this industry. Brandon had a work placement related to film while participating in the NYA Program in 2010, when he volunteered at a movie theatre in Langley, British Columbia. Brandon went on to complete the NYA International Program the following year, allowing him to learn about diverse cultures.

One of Brandon’s goals is to be a good role model for younger generations, which he is working towards in various capacities in his home community of N’dilo, NT. Brandon worked at the Chekoa Afterschool Program for six months, mentoring youth and helping them with their schoolwork. He also volunteered with the community’s Justice Committee, a group of volunteers who hear the cases of young offenders and try to promote reconciliation. Furthermore, Brandon received the 2011 Youth of the Year Award from the Akaitcho Territory Government for all of his efforts in recognition of his “contribution, dedication, and perseverance to the betterment of our Treaty 8 communities.”

Brandon thinks it’s important to keep his cultural traditions strong and often helps his family by going out hunting and trapping with his father, and by hauling firewood in the winter. With his education and trade skills, Brandon hopes to contribute to a better future for his community and set an example of leadership and community involvement. He attributes some of his success in post-secondary education to the NYA program, which he says has enabled him to make long‐term friendships, gain valuable skills, and gain independence.

Emma KreugerEmma Kreuger

As a participant in the NYA Canadian Program in 2005, Emma volunteered at a community theatre in the “cottage country” of Ontario. This experience helped foster her love for art and introduced her to performance art. Highlighting the role of NYA in her development, Emma says, “What I gained that summer in knowledge and confidence aided me years after, and still to this day.” Emma went on to study theatre for two years, and has since been involved with social-based theatre projects. Emma’s projects include the creation of a radio show that exposes youth to independent Canadian music, and finding creative ways to teach children about important issues like bullying and healthy oral care.

Emma completed the International Program in 2008, which she says helped her understand the inter‐connectedness of the world. She reports that the program deepened her passion for environmental justice because it allowed her to see that there are peoples all around the world who depend on the land for sustenance, tradition, and livelihood. She writes that “with the earth like a puzzle, you lose one piece and it will affect the strength of the big picture everywhere.”

Originally from Baker Lake, Nunavut, Emma is studying at Concordia University in Montreal in the Human Environment program, but she hopes to switch into First Peoples Studies soon. In the long‐term, she has plans to pursue further education in environmental issues at Arctic college. She wants to devote her career to working towards protecting the environmental health and beauty of Nunavut.

Apply

Applications for the 2016 NYA Alumni Bursaries will be available in November 2016.