Wells Fargo donates $25,000 to Rural Alaska Honors Institute

Leona Long

The Rural Alaska Honors Institute at the University of Alaska Fairbanks received a $25,000 donation from Wells Fargo as part of the bank’s continuing support for RAHI’s business curriculum. During the past eight years, Wells Fargo has invested $425,000 in RAHI.

“This donation underscores Wells Fargo’s continuing commitment to RAHI and helping Alaska Native and rural students believe that they can succeed in college, career and life,” said Jennifer Imus, Wells Fargo business banking manager for northern Alaska. “I have been so impressed with the young people that I have met who attend the program. It is testament to the flexibility and fortitude of rural Alaskan youth.”

In RAHI’s business class, students put together a business plan and learn money management skills using Wells Fargo‘s Hands on Banking curriculum. The free program instructs people in all stages of life about responsible money management, including how to create a budget, save, invest, borrow responsibly, buy a home and establish a small business.

Chalisa Attla, a 2008 alumna from Hughes, said Wells Fargo representatives like Imus who attend RAHI and UAF School of Management events became her role models.

“I always knew I wanted to be in business, but was unsure exactly what I wanted to do and RAHI helped me figure that out,” says Attla, who will graduate from UAF with a bachelor’s degree in accounting this May. “Wells Fargo’s participation in RAHI helped me see that my possibilities are endless, because it’s not just an Alaska bank, it’s a respected international company. The Wells Fargo representatives who attend RAHI and other UAF School of Management activities helped me see that I can take my career anywhere I want to go.”

“Wells Fargo’s contribution to RAHI is priceless,” said Liz Ross, UAF School of Management MBA program director who teaches the RAHI business class. “Their financial support pays all the costs for many of our students to attend. Their Hands On Banking curriculum has done more to teach fiscal life skills to young rural Alaskans than just about any other organization. Local bank representatives come to class when students present their business plan as part of their coursework.”

Denise Wartes, RAHI’s program coordinator, said the program was founded at the request of the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1983. It helps rural and Alaska Native students successfully transition from high school to college. Each year, at least 40 high school juniors and seniors live on campus and take eight to 10 college credits over six weeks.

More than 1,500 students have graduated from the RAHI program. The next RAHI courses are slated for May 26–July 10, 2015. For more information or an application packet, visit www.uaf.edu/rahi or contact Denise Wartes, program coordinator, at 800-478-6886 or mdwartes@alaska.edu.

RAHI is made possible by the generous financial support from the UAF College of Rural and Community Development and sponsors like Wells Fargo, New York Life, Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Arctic Slope Community Foundation, ConocoPhillips, NANA Management Services, Ravn Alaska, Boeing, Crowley, and Kuukpik Corp. Students attend at no cost and have their travel expenses paid.

“We are so very thrilled at Wells Fargo’s commitment and belief in RAHI,” said Wartes. “Their continued support helps ease RAHI students’ transition from village to higher education and sets up them up for academic excellence.”

Wells Fargo has 850 team members in Alaska who serve customers through a network of 54 banking, mortgage, and investment offices, and 115 ATMs.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.6 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,700 locations, 12,500 ATMs, and the internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in 36 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Co. was ranked No. 29 on Fortune’s 2014 rankings of America’s largest corporations.

In 2013, the company invested $275.5 million in grants to 18,500 nonprofits, and team members contributed more than 1.69 million volunteer hours around the country. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: David J. Kennedy, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.,  907-265-2184, kenneddj@wellsfargo.com

ON THE WEB: http://www.uaf.edu/rahi/