Yulista CARES Delivers Backpacks to Hooper Bay and Chevak
Every Student Provided Bag and Supplies, Ready to Learn
Storyknife, September/October 2022 edition
Bradley Lake teaches elementary school students in his home village of Hooper Bay. He graduated from University of Alaska Fairbanks with a BA in elementary education and interned the past five years with Yulista Holding subsidiaries as well as Calista Brice Holding (previously Bilista Holding).
It was meaningful for Lake and his students who were eager to start learning when Yulista and Calista Corporation staff delivered backpacks and school supplies to all students in Hooper Bay and Chevak on the first day of school.
“We’re off the road system and it’s hard to get supplies here, and Yulista comes in to help,” Lake says. “Out in the village it’s very expensive and most people cannot afford new backpacks. Yulista CARES is a great resource that helps the villages.”
Backpacks with school supplies, and extra supplies for teachers and the schools, were all part of the annual employee-driven Yulista CARES Backpack Campaign. Yulista surpassed its goals for backpacks, supplies and dental kits this year—they collected more than 1,600 backpacks and nearly 1,050 dental kits within two months!
“Out in the village it’s very expensive and most people cannot afford new backpacks. Yulista CARES is a great resource that helps the villages.” – Bradley Lake, 3rd grade teacher & former Yulista intern
Over 900 backpacks went to Hooper Bay and Chevak students and the remainder went to schools and nonprofits in Huntsville, Alabama, the area in which Yulista is based. Calista Region communities change each year based on the villages new to the program.
“When the kids get a new backpack, they’re excited to come back to school, show off their supplies, and use them for homework and in the class,” Lake says. “They want to continue their education.”
As a recent grad and first-year educator, Lake was worried about being low on supplies during the school year. Each backpack included scissors, glue sticks, colored pencils, crayons, pens and pencils, folders and notebooks, erasers and rulers, a dental kit—and even a winter cap for students to stay warm on the cold mornings.
Beyond backpacks for individual students, each classroom received supplies of writing pads, staplers and paper clips, extra pens and pencils, stacks of notepads, classroom scissors, dry erase markers, tape, and clipboards. Teachers like Bradley Lake were ready to instill knowledge and the desire to learn.
“Coming from a rural area, students are going to either stay home after graduation or go out to pursue a degree or training,” Lake says. “I wanted to go when I finished high school, and I came back to encourage more students to further their education.
“I want to be that role model here, showing students that when they finish their degree or training, they can come back and work in the community of Hooper Bay.”
At our core, we are people serving people. We are devoted to bettering the lives of our team members, customers, Shareholders, and communities. That is our purpose and through our philanthropic YulistaCARES initiatives we encourage others to do the same. Our mission is to help engage Yulista team members with our community through acts of service.