Coast Guard conducts three-day Alaska Native student outreach in North Slope

KODIAK, Alaska – The Coast Guard is preparing for an Alaskan Native Outreach program Sept. 23-25 to educate, expose and promote Coast Guard missions and operations to more than 2,700 Alaska’s elementry, middle school, high school and college students in Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow.

During the three-day outreach, Coast Guard and civilian representatives from around the country plan to expose students to everyday Coast Guard operations such as water safety, law enforcement, small boat operations, marine safety, search and rescue operations, air operations and operations afloat and ashore.

The outreach team from diverse Alaska backgrounds will focus on educating Alaska’s youth regarding Coast Guard life. This will not only inform students who might be seeking a future in the Coast Guard, but also strengthen the bond and open doors for future engagements with the Coast Guard and northern Alaskan communities.

On Sept. 23, the outreach team is scheduled to visit Nome Beltz Jr. and Sr. High School along with Nome Elementary educating close to 600 students. Nome public schools has deemed Sept. 23 as “Coast Guard Day.”

The team is planned to expose close to 850 students in a career day at Kotzebue’s Public Schools Sept. 24. The Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley and an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter, both homeported in Kodiak, are scheduled to be in Kotzebue. The Dolphin helicopter is planned to be on static display for student tours.

On Sept. 25, the outreach team is scheduled to engage with students at Barrow’s Ilisagvik College, the only Alaska Native College in the country, along with students at all Barrow public schools. This visit will reach approximately 1,300 students.

An HC-130 Hercules aircraft from Air Station Kodiak is planned to serve as a static display for tours at all communities. The crew will be available to discuss air operations with students. The Coast Guard PFD Otter and Coastie, the mechanical water safety boat, are scheduled to educate elementary students at each location in the Kid’s Don’t Float program which highlights water safety and the importance of wearing a life jacket.

The Alaskan Native Outreach is intended to develop deeper friendships and a lasting relationship with the northern Arctic communities and the Coast Guard. By exposing Coast Guard missions to these Alaskan communities, the outreach team is providing an awareness of opportunities available for a youth’s future.

“The Coast Guard is following our forefathers from the Revenue Cutter Service and continuing with providing services to our neighbors in Northern Alaska,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mia Dutcher, outreach coordinator and chief, District Seventeen Command Center. “As we return our presence to the Alaskan Native communities along the North Slope, it is imperative that we reach out to our neighboring friends and future generations to share with them theCoast Guard’s missions and what we do to serve our nation. One of the best ways to reach out to our Alaskan neighbors is engaging with their youth. So, we are very excited to have this opportunity to share our experiences with the students in Nome, Kotzebue and Barrow.”

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