Gifted Mentorship Program honors students


April 26, 2013


April 25, 2013
Contact: Anne Adasiak-Andrew, ASD Gifted Mentorship Coordinator
Phone: (907) 742-3797


Students honored in Gifted Mentorship Program


Approximately 500 people gathered Tuesday evening at Bartlett High School to honor students and their professional mentors at the annual ASD Gifted Mentorship Reception, sponsored by BP. The event recognized nearly 200 juniors and seniors and thanked 200 volunteer mentors from across the city for completing a semester long mentorship in a variety of fields from medicine and engineering to marketing and investment banking. For the last 24 years, the Gifted Mentorship program has worked with existing school-business partners and other specialists to match students with a mentor in their area of interest. Mentorships offer students a more "hands-on" experience in their career field and often give them a head start on future college and career opportunities.


School Board Vice President and past mentor Tam Agosti-Gisler welcomed students to the event and applauded their efforts to jump in and participate in the best opportunities life has to offer, instead of sitting on the sidelines. Also present were Superintendent Ed Graff, School Board Member Kathleen Plunkett, Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction Martina Henke, and Gifted Supervisor Peter Ljubicich.


Malcolm Roberts, a senior fellow of the Institute of the North and one of the founding members of Bridge Builders of Anchorage, spoke to students about his mentorship experience with Frontier Charter School Junior, EJ Estrada. This fall, Estrada requested a mentorship in the field of social entrepreneurism.Estrada and Roberts share a common passion for socially responsible resource development. Estrada is in a unique position since his great aunt is the current President of Liberia. His family knew about Robert's work with African countries, trying to share the "owner state" model of oil development with countries who are resource-rich, but do not have a system in place that benefits the individual citizens of those countries. Estrada and Roberts plan to visit Liberia this summer, and to share the PowerPoint they created together about Alaska's "owner state" model. This is the first mentorship with international, global implications.


Students Synclaire Butler of East High School, Victor Charoonsophonsak of Dimond High School and Michaela Stilth of West High School rounded out the speakers for the evening telling about their mentorships in Women's Health, Aeronautical Engineering, and Archaeology/Anthropology.


"The Gifted Mentorship program is a great way for businesses to give back to the Anchorage community by helping students learn real-world skills," says Travis Peltier, Viscous Oil Reservoir Engineer for BP and coordinator for several engineering mentorships in the program. "It's a great opportunity that I wish I'd had when I was in high school! The mentor gains by sharing their profession and learning how to teach younger people the important aspects of their job, and perhaps by finding a future employee."


For more information on the ASD Gifted Mentorship Program and a current newsletter, please visit



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