Welcome to The Edna P. McCurdy Scholarship Foundation
The Edna P. McCurdy Scholarship Foundation was formed by Ounalashka Corporation to provide scholarships for post-secondary education to its shareholders and their descendants.
TOP CAREERS 2018
Featured Graduate Profile
Shane E. Moller
Age – 22
Where are you and your family from?
My mom Jennifer Moller grew up on Whidbey Island, which is in Washington State, and my dad, John Moller, was born and raised in Unalaska. I am from Juneau, AK, where my family and I have lived since I was born.
Where are you attending school?
I am currently attending Fort Lewis College, in Durango, CO.
What is your major?
I am pursuing a BA in Science – my major is in general engineering with a focus on mechanical engineering. I expect to graduate in 2020.
Why are you interested in this area of study?
I have always enjoyed math and science and the challenge they present. In my senior year of high school, I took a class in engineering design, and it was really interesting. It fit well with the subjects I enjoy.
What are your plans after you graduate?
I would like to come to Alaska to pursue a job in engineering here. The field is large and diverse in the state, and there are a lot of opportunities! I had a chance to intern at a small, Juneau-based civil engineering firm last summer and it really opened my eyes to the possibilities in Alaska.
When did you first apply for an Edna P. scholarship?
My sister applied for, and received, an Edna P. McCurdy scholarship before me, so I was familiar with it. She encouraged me to go for it, and I applied for it my freshman year in 2015.
What was the application process like?
The process is laid out to be as straight-forward as possible. I was lucky and had my sister to help me, but anyone can do it! It is mostly online, but when you need to talk to someone, the staff are very helpful!
How has the Edna P. McCurdy Foundation scholarship helped you?
Monetarily, the funds have helped a lot. I have been lucky, as the scholarship allowed me to focus 100% on school! As a result, I have been able to get through quicker and start thinking about what is next for my career. Other areas that the money has helped with (besides tuition), are books, housing, and day-to-day expenses.
What would you like to say to the people behind the Foundation?
Thank you! And thanks to everyone who has been involved since the beginning. I am not sure I would be where I am without the support, and I am truly grateful for the opportunities it has given me. For those thinking about applying – it’s never too late to start and I highly recommend the program!
What are your future plans?
Through my internships and temporary positions at civil firms, I have gained valuable real-world experience. I am interested in opportunities in those areas after I graduate. I’m excited to see what is out there!
Rachel M. Lekanoff
Age – 26
Where are you from and who is your family?
My dad Lenny Lekanoff grew up in Unalaska – he is one of 10 siblings. My mom grew up in Kirkland, Washington, and I grew up in Olympia, WA with my parents.
Where are you going to school?
I have a BS in environmental science, and currently, I am a graduate student at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where I am pursuing a Masters in Oceanography with a focus in biological oceanography. I have worked with my professors, colleagues and other students to monitor changes in the Bering and Chukchi seas, studying changes in the ecosystem while working on my thesis, in which I focus on bacteria and microalgae. I also had an opportunity this year to mentor undergraduate students on the UAF research vessel, RV Sikuliaq during an 8-day research trip.
Why are you interested in this career?
The work being done with microbial communities is really on the forefront of science. Microbes form the basis of the ocean’s food web, making food that supports marine mammals and fish. The microbes demonstrate changes early on that could impact the wider ecosystem. It’s fascinating!
When did you first apply for an Edna P. scholarship?
I applied initially in 2011 and have been fortunate to have the resource available during both undergrad and graduate studies.
How was the application process?
The application path was very straight forward. I worked with the staff at the Edna P. McCurdy Foundation to assemble and submit everything via email, and they were very helpful and knowledgeable. The entire experience was very positive, and I would encourage shareholders and descendants to utilize this resource!
How has funding from the Edna P. McCurdy Foundation helped you?
In so many ways! From help with tuition and books, to housing and fees. It’s saved me a lot of stress over the years and given me the time to really delve into my studies and explore all my interests in my undergraduate and graduate programs.
What would you like to say to the people who founded the organization, and keep it going today?
I really appreciate how simple it has been to apply – and the staff are outstanding! As the number of shareholders and descendants keeps growing, there are more and more people who are eligible for funding, which is here to help us! Thanks to everyone who has made, and continues to make, the Foundation available as a resource to students.
Any message to people interested in the program?
Just do it! If you’re in school, apply for all funding resources that could be available to you.
What does the future hold for you?
I am looking forward to graduation this summer in August! I have also been exploring Ph.D. programs and looking at other opportunities here at UAF .
Dear Scholarship Board,
In August 2019, I graduated from Western Washington University with my Bachelors of Science in Community Health. This great accomplishment could not have been done without your support — and I truly mean that. Thank you for assisting me the last four years with the Edna P. Scholarship, including several flights to and from home. I cannot tell you how big of an impact this made on my life, as it propelled me towards my goals.
I am back in Unalaska for now, but will be heading out in January for the Peace Corps. I have been recruited to serve as a Community Health Educator in Ethiopia, and will spend the next 2 and a half years working abroad. I believe this experience will help build my program planning skills, serving diverse communities, and becoming a compassionate educator. Although Ethiopia is my next adventure, my ultimate goal is to come back home and serve as a community health advocate for the Unangan people of Unalaska. Thank you again for showing me continuous support and giving me the confidence to go after my goals.
With great thanks,