Kodiak Area Native Association
I was born and raised in Kodiak with two sisters and a brother. My grandparents taught me to be a hard worker and that family is the most important thing in life. I have worked as a dental assistant since 2006. Some people are nervous about going to the dentist, but if you can talk to them and make them feel comfortable, the chances of them coming back are better. I am excited for more education and more skills as a dental professional, which will make me able to give back more to my community.
Samantha B. BrownKotzebue, AK
Sponsored by the Maniilaq Association
“I was born and raised in a family that has a history of Inupiaq dancing. I’ve been dancing since I could walk. This is my way of keeping our traditions alive—singing and dancing the Inupiaq songs while wearing traditional regalia. I would say this is a very important piece of my culture to hold close to my heart, for it has taught me unity in diversity. There is no doubt that Alaska is short of dental providers. This is a place where I see myself giving back to my community. Dental school is my next step in life not only because my fellow Alaskans need more dental providers, but because I know in my heart that this is what I want to do.”