Alaska Native art displayed on the grounds outside.

ANHC Welcomes AmeriCorps VISTA

ANHC Welcomes Our First AmeriCorps VISTA!

September 21st, 2020 – The Alaska Native Heritage Center (ANHC) is pleased to welcome our first AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), Presley West! 

Founded in 1965, the VISTA program was designed to build capacity in organizations that alleviate poverty. VISTA members serve full-time for one year, helping nonprofits and public agencies generate the commitment of private sector resources, encourage volunteer service at the local level, and empower individuals and communities. 

As a Social Enterprise VISTA, Presley will work closely with Executive Director Emily Edenshaw and Development Director Shyanne Beatty to develop creative outreach and marketing strategies, write and apply for grant funding, secure strategic partnerships with arts-based organizations, and update the external website to reflect ANHC’s current, innovative work.   

Presley joins ANHC from rural Tennessee, where her involvement in a non-profit youth development program sparked a life-long interest in community service. A 2020 graduate of Emory University, she has a background in International Relations and Media Studies, which she utilized during a semester abroad in Morocco to co-produce media programming with an NGO serving the Indigenous people of the Sahara Desert region. 

Only in her fourth week of service, Presley has already travelled to the Native Village of Eagle where she learned traditional moose-hunting practices and spoke with community Elders about life in rural Alaska, language revitalization efforts, and more. 

“I am honored and excited to work with the phenomenal team at the Alaska Native Heritage Center,” said West. “Every day I continue to learn more about the Alaska Native community that I serve, and I appreciate the grace and support of my co-workers as we take on this exciting New Year together!” 

Thank you to RurAL CAP and the Corporation for National and Community Service for making this opportunity possible!