By Janet Hall, Communications Director
Donlin Gold committed $40,000 to support RurAL CAP’s Elder Mentor Program. The funding will be used to ensure Elders in the Yukon-Kuskokwim (YK) region have a valuable role in the education system inspiring youth to be successful in school, achieve meaningful employment and become the next generation of leaders in the region. Communities with Elder Mentors in the YK region currently include Bethel, Chevak, Emmonak, Hooper Bay, Kotlik, Lower Kalskag, Russian Mission, Akiachak and Akiak.
“Donlin Gold values the cultural traditions Elders of the YK region pass on to youth, as well as the opportunity for youth to receive additional assistance and support in their education,” said Donlin Gold General Manager, Stan Foo.
This program directly impacts three special groups: children, low-income Elders and education professionals. Children who are economically, socially, or developmentally disadvantaged increase their school success through individualized tutoring/mentoring. Low-income Elders receive a small, tax exempt stipend and support for meals and transportation. Elder Mentor volunteers report mental or physical improvements by staying active in their community, while sharing their skills, culture and values with a new generation. Education Professionals benefit by having a supportive role model for the class and someone who can work with children needing extra help. Teachers often report that students are more engaged in learning when an Elder is present.
“Donlin Gold’s support will ensure we have enough resources to run a successful program in the YK region,” said RurAL CAP Community Development Division Manager Cathie Clements.
For more information about this project, please visit www.ruralcap.com or call Jan Abbott at (907) 865-7276.