November 24, 2020

Youth producers from the Alaska Teen Media Institute contacted awardees for the annual Spirit of Youth awards radio stories, featuring teens from across the state being honored for the good work they are doing in their communities.

The Spirit of Youth Awards highlight dedicated young people and unsung heroes from around Alaska. Now in its 22nd year, the awards recognize the hard work and efforts of these future leaders who utilize this opportunity to share their inspiring and heartwarming stories.

Thank you to the Alaska Teen Media Institute for creating these radio stories!


Garrett Graham—Anchorage, Humanitarian

Garrett has demonstrated courage, resilience and fortitude as he faces challenging personal difficulties. In June of 2018, he formed a team called “Garrett’s Got Guts,” which participated in the Take Steps for Crohn’s and Colitis fundraising event. He has taken action to educate himself, his classmates and his community members about genetic disorders with both humor and sincerity.

Story by Quinn White, Senior Producer, Alaska Teen Media Institute


Alicyn Bahnke and Zoe Okleasik of Nome, and Quannah Potts and Nanieezh Peter of Fairbanks, Discovery

Alicyn, Zoe, Quannah and Nanieezh were inspired to take action due to their personal experiences with climate change in their community. In their resolution to the Alaska Federation of Natives they wrote about the severe impacts climate change is having on Indigenous ways of life and the spiritual and cultural well-being of Alaska Native communities. Their resolution declares a climate emergency and creates a climate action leadership task force to advance Indigenous voices and advocate for strong climate policies that will ensure the survival of future generations.

Story by Riley Taylor, Senior Producer, Alaska Teen Media Institute


Anna DeVolld—Soldotna, Innovator

Anna developed a program called Promote Our Pollinators. This insightful, ambitious project strives to educate the public about the importance of pollinators and to provide easy-to-implement ways to support these essential creatures. Anna is educating hundreds of students, seniors, and business and community members about the importance of pollinators.

Story by Quinn White, Senior Producer, Alaska Teen Media Institute


Kevin Grimes—Fairbanks, Phoenix

Kevin is a strong member of Facing Foster Care in Alaska. He mentors youth from all ages ranging from 13-25. Kevin fights hard to help foster youth around Alaska. While he is only 18, he has worked with political members and others to spread his message.

Story by Daisy Carter, Senior Producer, Alaska Teen Media Institute


Sarah Mixsell—Anchorage, Visionary

Sarah founded Alaska Kids for Kids in 2011 when she was nine years old. Alaska Kids for Kids is a registered non-profit organization which annually selects a youth focused organization to serve through fund-raising and other donations. Under Sarah’s leadership, the organization has raised over $20,000 in funds and other donations that directly benefit youth in Alaska. As a youth herself, Sarah understands and empathizes with those challenges at a peer level.

Story by Ryan Danigole, Senior Producer, Alaska Teen Media Institute