December 13, 2022

Youth producers from the Alaska Teen Media Institute contacted awardees to record the 2022 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 24th 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!


Shandiin “Suella” Wendell — Chugiak, Innovator Award

Suella is a facilitator and communicator on important social issues. Most recently, she has been focusing on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People epidemic, bringing outreach to her community through her projects, participation in community events, and social networking. 

Story By Quinn White


Mia Siebenmorgen Cresswell— Cordova, Discovery Award 

Mia helps beautify Cordova by picking invasive species and maintaining the local native plants. She helps with recycling efforts and organized a youth-led march to garner attention for climate change. 

Story By Edison Wallace Moyer


Emaline Buchanan — Wasilla, Visionary Award

When Emaline was 13, she started a nonprofit called Duchess Foundation. The nonprofit provides feminine products to school nurses and school districts. She is now 16 and continues to help her community through the nonprofit.

 Story By Quinn White


E Chythlook— Anchorage, Humanitarian Award

E was instrumental in crafting Alaska Youth Orchestra’s revised Concert Black attire requirements, setting a nationwide example of this classical music norm, which has historically been gender specific. 

Story By Quinn White


Mia Wiederspohn — Wrangell, Dreamer Award

Mia works with with KSTK 101.7 FM in Wrangell, Alaska to create a podcast series about the Tlingit language. By broadcasting Tlingit phrases and their English translations, she is helping to preserve the language Indigenous to her community. 

Story By Ormund Alaois


Levi Anderson — Kenai, Phoenix Award

Levi was determined to help the current music teacher build up the music program. Thanks to his efforts, numbers in choir and band increased and the entire music department has been reinvigorated. 

Story By Ormund Alaois


Hannah Yi and Sophie Mayers — Anchorage, Lifesaver Award

Hannah and Sophie were instrumental at West Anchorage High School in reviving the You are Not Alone Club after students returned to in-person learning. 

Story By Kendrick Whiteman


Katrina Katoanga — Anchorage, Role Model Award

Katrina serves as both a TRIO Leadership Committee member and as a mentor for new students in TRIO. TRIO Upward Bound is a college prep program for students who have the potential to be first generation college students and/or of limited income households. 

Story By Quinn White