Hello! My name is Savanah Encelewski, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to intern in CIRI’s accounting department this summer!
I am currently completing my general education requirements at Folsom Lake College in Folsom, Calif., and I will transfer to Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego next fall to earn my bachelor’s degree in finance. I will then work toward my master’s degree at the University of California San Diego.
I was born in Anchorage and moved at a very young age to California. Despite being so far away from the beautiful state of Alaska, I have stayed connected to my Alaska Native roots through CIRI and its family of nonprofit organizations.
My grandfather, Richard “Greg” Encelewski, has served as president and chair of Ninilchik Natives Association since 1973. My uncle, Ivan Encelewski, has followed in his father’s footsteps as executive director of the Ninilchik Traditional Council. Many other family members also work for Native-serving organizations, including my father who is currently senior director of finance for Southcentral Foundation.
Over the years, I have looked to the members of my family for inspiration and encouragement. Our Alaska Native ancestors passed down their wisdom and knowledge to help us navigate our individual paths, teaching us what it means to live life with excellence, honor, respect, and unity, and how to stay driven despite any setbacks that may occur. They have instilled in me the belief that I am here for a reason greater than myself and that I am destined to do wonderful things!
Throughout my educational, professional and personal journey, I will appreciate the values my ancestors have passed down to me and carry gratitude for the Alaska Native community that will continue to be celebrated for many generations to come.
Until next time,