Yulista Backpack Campaign

Donations to Goodnews Bay, Platinum & Quinhagak

Storyknife, January/February 2022 edition

Students in Goodnews Bay, Platinum and Quinhagak received backpacks, supplies and hats before the beginning of this school year. Schools also received extra teacher supplies for students to use while learning in the classroom.

Through Yulista Holding LLC—a subsidiary of Calista Corporation—employees raised enough money and gathered items to provide over 1,280 backpacks and school supplies across the communities we work!

Yulista CARES is an employee driven community service initiative. It stands for: Community, Appreciation, Relations, Employee Support.

Backpacks and supplies went to communities in Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Hawaii—all in communities reached by Calista and Yulista. Backpacks contained pens, pencils, highlighters, notebooks, dental kits, flashlights and beanies.

CARES Team in Alaska

Twenty-six teachers and staff received school supplies in Alaska. Supplies included tape, printer paper, post-it notes, staplers, scissors, pens, pencils, dry erase markers and more.

Arviq School students in Platinum, a one-room, multi-grade schoolhouse.

Platinum, a village of about 50 people, is made up of a one-room, multi-grade schoolhouse—Arviq School. About 13 students in elementary school to high school share the home-like setting at the school.

“It’s kind of hard to get things. It’s great to see these donations from people like Calista and Yulista.” – Aidan Ramirez, a 10th grader at Arviq School in Platinum

“These students are my kids, and if they need supplies, I will provide for them,” says Hansja Braam, the one teacher for Arviq School. “This is a blessing to be stocked up for the school year, and for each student to have their own supplies.”

Aidan Ramirez, a 10th grader at Arviq School in Platinum, wants to pursue a degree in business. In the future he wants to open his own business.

“The backpack of supplies will help us a lot, because the school is sometimes short of supplies. It’s kind of hard to get things. It’s great to see these donations from people like Calista and Yulista,” says Aidan.

The 2021-22 school year marks the eighth year that the Yulista team championed a campaign to deliver backpacks full of school supplies for the children and teachers in the Calista Region, along with schools and programs in their own communities.

“The flashlights are good when [the other students] have to come to school in the dark, and they have nice hats, so their heads don’t get cold,” says Aidan. “All the school supplies we need means we can bring them home without having to borrow supplies.”

Quinhagak is the largest of the three villages, with a population of about 700 people. Yulista CARES provided 250 backpacks and supplies for students at the village’s school Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat.

Goodnews Bay, with a population of about 300 people, is the home of Rocky Mountain School. The school has six teachers and 8 staff members, with around 75 students.

“Having new school supplies is good for us. For me, it makes me excited about school,” says Chenoa Chingliak, 10th grader in Goodnews Bay.

James Bright, an 11th grader in Goodnews Bay, says he wants to pursue a career as an Alaska State Trooper or Village Public Safety Officer in the village.

“You need an education to get just about any job out there,” says James. “Even if it’s a simple part-time job, you may need proof of an education. With Calista [and Yulista] coming out to donate school supplies, it may help me reach that goal just a little bit faster.”