Big Lake, Alaska
While Judi Wilson is not the first ANSEP student in her family, she is the first to attend ANSEP’s brand new Acceleration High School (AAHS) located at Valley Pathways in Palmer. According to Judi, her family ties to the program were key to getting her started along the ANSEP path to success.
When she was in sixth grade, Judi’s older brother often shared stories about his ANSEP experiences. She recalls him talking about the hands-on activities he got to participate in, such as bridge and computer builds as well as earthquake simulation tests. So, when the ANSEP Middle School Academy application landed on her desk at school, she wasted no time filling it out.
“I knew my brother had participated, and I also really loved math and science at the time – that’s what encouraged me to apply,” Judi said. “It was my first time being away from home and living on a college campus, but ANSEP helped us adjust and feel comfortable. That’s how I got my start, and now here I am at Acceleration High School.”
Judi said her dad also encouraged her to attend Acceleration High School, where she is currently taking college-level courses alongside her high school classes. She says her favorite part is her college Athabascan class, where she is learning the Alaska Native language while also gaining a new perspective on her Yup’ik cultural heritage. Judi plans to continue accruing college credit at Acceleration High School and says she is considering the possibility of pursuing a career as a nurse.
“I want to work in a hospital and help people,” Judi said. “My aunt is a nurse, and growing up I always wanted to be like her. Now that I’m older, it continues to interest me and I’m looking more seriously at the profession.”
Up next for Judi? She plans to apply for Acceleration Academy this summer, where she hopes her continued involvement with ANSEP will help her fully shape a successful career path.