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T’lingit Member Wins Youth of the Year in Alaska

Mason H., also known as Gaanyaa to the T’lingit Tribe, has found that hard work can go a long way. The 15 year old freshman at Klawock High School of Klawock, AK was recently named Youth of the Year (YOY) for the state of Alaska!

Mason, the oldest of four siblings, won a $1,500 grant from the UA College Savings Plan and the chance to compete for the 2014 Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National YOY title by exhibiting his sound character, care skills, and eagerness to give back to others through active involvement in his community. As president of the Klawock Boys & Girls Club Youth Council, he lead various community service projects such as giving flowers to Elders on Mother’s Day and a community clean-up and litter patrol initiative.

Mason is also actively involved in a variety of traditional Tlingit activities and even speaks in Tlingit at certain events. He currently plays the role of a symbolic warrior and this past summer he worked alongside his uncle to learn the traditional fishing method of beach seining in order to provide food for his family. Mason is a member of the Klawock Tribal Canoe Team that is known to paddle over 100 miles without the use of modern navigation systems and is able to navigate by using the stars and sun.

During his freshman year, Mason maintained a 4.0 GPA while participating in extracurricular activities such as wrestling, Varsity basketball, cross country running, school band, and is a member of his student government. He even represented his high school in the Prince of Wales Island Wide Spelling Bee. Congratulations to Mason, Alaska’s Youth of the Year winner!