As Carissa neared high school graduation, she faced many big decisions. Top of the list were where to go to college and how to manage the financial burden of tuition and independent living. Fortunately, Carissa was a varsity basketball player all four years of high school and was being recruited for her skills. She also had the drive to problem solve. Both her father and high school counselor offered guidance and Carissa got to work researching her options.
After a bit of research, Carissa realized that she could consider colleges based on available athletic scholarships and supplement her funding from there. Bristol Bay Native Corporation offered scholarships for tuition and student loans weren’t as bad as she originally thought. The only missing piece was the cost of living.
One day, while at the KANA gym Carissa saw an ad for KIHA’s Student Rental Assistance Program and decided to apply. She downloaded the application and gathered supporting documents. From there it was a breeze and her rental assistance followed her throughout her college career. From a dorm room at University of Alaska Fairbanks, to apartments when she moved to Washington -- as long as she was a full time student, she received help with rent and had a bit of breathing room to afford living on her own.
Carissa obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Digital Audience (i.e., digital marketing) from Arizona State University. She now works as a Marketing Coordinator in Tacoma, Washington. Eventually, she plans on moving to a major city to further her career and transition to film and media marketing in Los Angeles, New York, or Vancouver, British Columbia. Carissa’s advice to graduating seniors in Kodiak? Don’t get too caught up with deciding on a career path right away; simply furthering your education and living on your own will eventually guide you to the right area of expertise!