Anna Boltz

Anna has been on the Challenge Alaska Alpine Race Team since she was 8 years old (she began skiing at age 2). She has been the only middle-school-aged disabled athlete to compete among her peers in school sports such as cross-country running (in a handcycle) and Nordic skiing (in a sit-ski). She has been a frequent spokesperson for Challenge Alaska, and at age 6 was in the first feature-length, all-female alpine ski movie representing young girls and disabled athletes (Pretty Faces).

  • Home Town Anchorage
  • School District Anchorage
  • Award Category Phoenix

Anna Boltz

Anna has been on the Challenge Alaska Alpine Race Team since she was 8 years old (she began skiing at age 2). She has been the only middle-school-aged disabled athlete to compete among her peers in school sports such as cross-country running (in a handcycle) and Nordic skiing (in a sit-ski). She has been a frequent spokesperson for Challenge Alaska, and at age 6 was in the first feature-length, all-female alpine ski movie representing young girls and disabled athletes (Pretty Faces).

Alaina Vik

Alaina started a program called Operation Sweet Support, where she assembled care boxes for Alaskan troops stationed abroad. She was able to raise over $5,000, located private contributors and had the military fund one of the three shipments. Over 200 boxes were packed and shipped.

Sarah Coss

Sarah is one of the first females in the nation to earn her Eagle Scout badge. Two years ago, when the Boy Scouts allowed females to join, Sarah’s goal was to become an Eagle Scout. Only 6 percent of Boy Scouts receive this achievement, and Sarah is one of the very few women. She is in the Inaugural class of female Eagle Scouts Nation wide.

Ryann Esteban

Ryann is a member of Student Council, Native Youth Olympics, a Sources of Strength youth leader at school, and a teen member on the Port Graham Native Council. Ryann also independently created artwork for a sweatshirt that amplified the voices of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Anchorage Teen Council

For over twenty five years, Teen Council has provided teen leaders with comprehensive, medically-accurate sexual health training, empowering them to become non-judgmental resources to their peers through both formal presentations and informal social interactions. Members improve the quality of life of peers through direct instruction and informal conversations.

Darby Osborne

Darby has been a key member within the Youth for Sustainable Futures group and is a vocal advocate in addressing the climate crisis in Sitka and nationally. Her passion, knowledge and commitment to addressing the crisis with real solutions, concrete actions and science-based details has been nothing short of professional.

Anchorage Youth Court Youth Board

Anchorage Youth Court (AYC) has a mixed youth and adult Board of Directors. They currently have 10 youth board members, all in high school, and all active AYC volunteers. AYC youth board members attend monthly board meetings and bi-monthly committee meetings. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, AYC youth board members have really stepped up to engage their peers and improve the lives of their fellow teens.

Kinley Erickson

Kinley is active in her church’s youth and early childhood programs. She is always patient and caring to children and has taken care of many special needs kids. During her lunch period, she created a Bible study to reach those she didn’t know. She baked the night before while balancing school and work so those without food could be included.

Alana Rose Parent

Alana is the President of the National Honor Society chapter at Steller, and she is also leading a Youth Volunteers program that involves delivering food monthly to Fairview Recreation Center. Additionally, she is a peer mentor at STARR, which reaches out to teens who are battling depression and suicide);  and she is involved in GRIT (Girls Riding Into Tomorrow), which helps to promote healthy habits and self-confidence.

Michael Halpern

Michael was involved in every aspect of the virtual history of the veterans 4th of July parade that was broadcast on PBS on July 4 at 11am. He set up and interviewed politicians for the presentation, edited footage from the archives and helped to create narration for the production.

Naomi Halpern

Naomi made items and sold them at the Saturday and Sunday market this summer to raise money for dogs and cats with cancer. She used the money raised ($700) to create 57 baskets to be distributed to families in coordination with the Pet Stop.

Ashley Dahlman

Ashley has taken on a number of leadership roles within her school and community, including student council. She also competed in last year’s Caring for the Kenai competition, where students from around the Kenai Peninsula create, design and implement an idea to better care for their community. Her project was called “Wonderfully Worn Wardrobe,” and students could donate used or unwanted clothing for students in need.

Denise Bamurange

Denise was involved in renaming East High School to Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School, and was the only young person that testified at a school board meeting in support of the name change. Additionally, she has become a leader in her church choir, is very involved in the trio Upward Bound and participated in the Uganda and Alaska PenPal Project.

Ron Paguio

While involved in the PenPal Program, which connected students from Alaska with students from Uganda, Ron emotionally supported his penpal who had been  a victim of police brutality at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement this summer. Ron also created a supportive and safe space for other students to process this story and the events taking place.

Bailey Epperheimer

Baily led the Nikiski Children’s Fund, and raised money to help children and families with basic needs such as new clothing items or paying utility bills. She raised money through a variety of ways, such as auctioning off a calf and community baseball games.

Sage Worl

Sage had planned on going to Canada to compete in the Arctic Winter Games, but was unable to because of the Covid-19 pandemic. He participated in several online native games challenges and was able to represent Team Anchorage, medalling in several events this fall and winter. Additionally, Sage joined practice to mentor a younger athlete.

Anchorage Youth Court

Anchorage Youth Court is a program run by youth for youth. Members are required to take classes, pass a bar exam and be sworn in. They volunteer their time as attorneys, bailiffs and judges. They hear cases from other youth offenders.

Jade Balansag

Jade Balansag helped create BASE (Building A Supportive Environment), a youth-led organization that aims to improve the social-emotional environment of their school. BASE has provided back-t0-school gift bags for students, fundraised money to improve their school, and developed a staff recognition program, among other things.

Tajhrel Prescott

Through his participation at Boys and Girls Club Fairbanks, Tajhrel took the lead in launching the BeYou campaign, which promotes that 78% of Alaska teens do not drink alcohol. With the guidance of an adult advisor, Tajhrel led a group of his peers in creating media and hosting events that promoted the organization’s mission.

Joy Martin

Joy invests many hours each week at the front line: she connects with the homeless on a deeper level.  She serves them, helps the homeless see value in themselves, and she is making a real
difference in the lives of  many homeless people—members of our community many have a hard time even seeing.