My name is Ainsley Fullmer and I am from Anchorage. I am Inupiaq and my family originally hails from the Norton Sound area. I am connected to CIRI through my mother, Amber Fullmer, a professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage, and my grandmother, Diane Macleod.
When I was about 4 years old, my family and I moved from Alaska to Colorado. Despite living away from our ancestral homeland, my mom never let me forget my Alaska Native heritage. It was important to her that I grew up with love for my culture and a heart to help.
I am entering my junior year of college, majoring in social work and minoring in psychology. I have always been interested in helping individuals cope with and solve their problems (yes, I may be a little nosy!), so I applied for the CIRI summer internship in the hopes of gaining real-life work experience, applying acquired knowledge in a corporate setting and helping CIRI achieve its vision of working toward a future where Alaska Native people thrive.
I have been assigned to the Corporate Communications department and in my short time here, I’ve already delved into CIRI’s social media and marketing strategy, interviewed a fellow summer intern for this month’s Descendant Spotlight, assisted the Rasmuson Foundation with its effort to make housing affordable and accessible in Alaska, and so much more.
My plans and hopes for the future vary, from becoming a homeowner to ending world hunger. Thankfully, I know that wherever I go and whatever I do, CIRI will be there to support me along the way.