Alaska Native Heritage Center’s High School Program helps youth reconnect

There is a place in Anchorage where Alaska Native teens can earn elective credit while reconnecting with their heritage. The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) offers a free, award-winning High School Program (HSP) for students enrolled in Anchorage-area schools. At ANHC, teens can engage in inter-generational learning and become bearers of Alaska Native culture while learning native crafts, leadership, dancing, games, performing arts and media technology in a safe and upbeat after-school environment.

Since the HSP began, more than 493 Alaska Native high school students have participated in the award-winning program. The HSP offers students the opportunity to interact with Native youth from other schools and to learn from positive role models. Many students choose continue their learning experience through the summer months and go on to become paid ANHC summer interns.

From Tuesday through Friday of each school week, ANHC sends buses to Anchorage high schools and transports enrolled students to the Center where they meet with mentors to engage in activities that they are interested in until 5 p.m. At the end of each day, students are dropped off at their doorstep by ANHC staff. This year, the winter segment of the program begins Oct. 5 and runs through April 20, 2011. This program is made possible by funding through a grant from the US Department of Education and from individual supporters.

Enrollment for this popular program is open and rolling. For more information on how to sign up, visit or call (907) 330-8000.