Scholarship Student Spotlight
In 2020, ONC will feature a scholarship student success story each month
to highlight the hard work and dedication of its scholarship recipients.
ONC descendant Chanel Pestrikoff a sophomore at Sheldon High School in Eugene, Oregon and a youth scholarship recipient.
Chanel said, “Hello, my name is Chanel Pestrikoff. My parents are Michael and Debbie Pestrikoff. My late grandparents are Dorothy Morrison and my great grandparents are Dora and Patrick Pestrikoff - they are all from Ouzinkie. On my mothers’ side, they are Charles and Joan Digati and they both lived in Eugene, Oregon for most of their lives.
I am now a sophomore at Sheldon High School in Eugene, Oregon. I’m currently doing online schooling. It is going really well, and I have adjusted. I’ve learned to manage my time with a schedule that works best; however, I do miss socialization with my classmates and friends. My favorite subject is English, because I really enjoy writing and being creative.
I have taken on a new sport as of this year which is Lacrosse, and I love learning and playing the game. I’m looking forward to being able to get back on the field with my teammates and play again when time allows.
Thanks for your continuing support Ouzinkie Native Corporation.
I appreciate you.
ONC shareholder Annie Ferguson is currently a sophomore at Montana State University in Bozeman. She is working on a degree in microbiology as an environmental health major and is also working towards a global health minor while being on the pre-med track. She hopes to be able to attend medical school after graduation and practice medicine in Alaska.
Annie said, “I know how important access to quality healthcare is regarding creating a thriving community and I would love to be a part of that someday. During school I also work as a caregiver and I try to do at least four hours of community service a week.
My family includes my mom, Mary Boggs, my dad,
Shawn Ferguson, and my older sister, Emma Ferguson. My grandmother, Martha Delgado, is the one who inspired me to pursue a career in medicine because I saw how important it is to have medical professionals who care about their patients as a person.”
Annie recently met with her college advisor who mentioned that she needed at least 40 hours of shadowing if she wanted her med school application to be competitive. She is currently reaching out to healthcare professionals who might be interested in having a student shadow them this summer.
ONC descendant, William Josef Ressel, is a fifth grader in Golden, Colorado. Will has received an ONC youth scholarship since 2019 for his music lessons and he studies classical acoustical guitar and piano at Bartle Guitar Studio.
Will enjoys music and has been studying and playing since 2016. He performs in several recitals a year that are organized by his teacher and he’s been selected twice to compete in his grammar school Talent Show.
Will was born in Colorado and enjoys going to Alaska several times a year to visit family. He especially likes fishing with his Grandfather Josef, although last time he went fishing he had a broken arm and had to have his dad help him fish. He is in fifth grade at Golden View Classical Academy and is looking forward to middle school.
His grandparents are Josef and Ina Ressel (Petersen) of Anchorage. His great-grand parents are Nels and Margaret Petersen (Danielsen) of Anchorage and his great-great grandparents are Sverre and Katherine Danielsen (Larionoff) of Kodiak.
Will’s parents, Erik and Kim Ressel, said:
“For us - his parents - we think the scholarship program is great and we really appreciate how supportive you are for descendants and shareholders. We want to offer as many opportunities to our son as possible and this scholarship helps us support his music hobby. Thank you so much!”
ONC descendant, Josh Hanson, is in his final year of college at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. Josh has received an ONC scholarship since 2016 and he will graduate in June 2020 with a double major - a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a cumulative GPA of 3.47.
Josh is the Vice-Chair of the Koniag Education Foundation Student Advisory Committee. He also plays hockey for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Hockey Team. Originally from Eagle River, Josh’s mother is Valerie Godfrey Hanson, his father is David Hanson, his grandmother is Patricia Godfrey and his great-grandmother is Betty Gugel.
In 2018, Josh wrote a letter to the ONC Board of Directors regarding the John Panamarioff Sr., Scholarship Program. His letter read:
Dear Ouzinkie Native Corporation members,
My name is Joshua Hanson and I am a recipient of the John Panamarioff Sr. Scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. I am a lifelong Alaskan and when I’m away from home doing my undergraduate studies, I always count down the days until I can once again see the Chugach Mountains as I ﬂy over the Cook Inlet and back to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport.
I graduated from West High School in Anchorage in May of 2010 before I left to play junior hockey for the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in Portland, Oregon from August 2010 to May of 2015. Through the ups and downs of my hockey career, I stayed persistent and earned a 5 year scholarship through the WHL to attend the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. While this scholarship was very generous, it only covered a portion of the total university cost and left me stressing about my ﬁnances. That’s when the Ouzinkie Native Corporation stepped in.
The corporation’s generosity in the form of the John Panamarioff Sr. Scholarship helped me bridge the ﬁnancial gap and gave me peace of mind and ﬁnancial stability. It has allowed me to focus entirely on my studies and not have to stress about how I’m going to buy my next meal, cover my tuition, or pay my rent. As a result, I have been able to earn Academic All-Canadian Honors in each of my ﬁrst two years at the university and maintain a 3.5 GPA and A- average. I was even humbled by making the Dean’s List at the end of my second year.
There is no doubt in my mind that my success would not be possible without the generosity and support of the Ouzinkie Native Corporation. I would not be able to afford tuition at such a high quality university without the John Panamarioff Sr. Scholarship and would not be blessed with the academic success I’ve accrued without the ﬁnancial stability the scholarship offers me.
I would like to thank the corporation from the bottom of my heart. I look forward to the possibility of one day giving back to the community and the corporation that has given so much to me. Thank you!