2016-2017 Junior Scholars
Wyatt Emmanuel Alexander
Wyatt Emmanuel Alexander is in the eighth grade at Clark Middle School. He was born in Anchorage, Alaska at the Alaska Native Hospital on April 11, 2003. He is the youngest of four brothers and three sisters. Wyatt has competed in Track and Field, Cross Country Running and Cross Country Skiing for the past two years. In addition, he has participated in Jack and Jill for six years, Anchorage Youth Court for one year and NASA Space Learning for two years. Wyatt likes to spend his free time with family and friends, especially in the outdoors.
Wyatt will graduate from high school with the class of 2021 and aspires to pursue a master's degree in Criminology. He has researched several potential universities such as the University of Alaska Anchorage, Arizona State University and San Diego University. Wyatt’s short-term goals throughout his high school career are to be a foreign exchange student, compete in Cross Country Running and possibly Track and Field, and learn more about criminology and law. His long-term goals are to gain experience through a summer internship with the State of Alaska Department of Law and someday establish his own law firm.
Jake Burke-Kinegak is an eighth-grade scholar attending Clark Middle School and he was born on June 3rd, 2002. Jake is the youngest son of Kristen Lee Kinegak and Terrell Burke, having three older brothers and four sisters. He is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy, Clark National Junior Honor Society, and Clark High School and College Preparatory Academy. Jake is a laudable debater and often induces slathers of details into arguments.
Interestingly, Jake’s impression of socialization isn’t always abhorrent. He is involved in Drama, an elective course at Clark Middle School. He shows a great passion for acting and enjoys the social interaction he gets. His love for all types of Seven Arts; mostly interested in Performing Arts, Music, and Art. Most of his inspirations of art and acting came from watching cartoons such as Chowder, Marvelous Misadventures Adventures of Flapjacks, Puffy Amiyumi, and Naruto. His love for music sprouted when he held his first guitar. Jake isn’t highly spoken of among others, but is quite content with it.
However, the browned-eyed boy isn’t too keen on revealing secrets and prefers his privacy to be respected. He relishes his alone time and has a habit of absentmindedly singing a song. Jake’s motivations often come in the form of a song repeated in his head and quotes. He started to develop his own YouTube channel and is yet to upload an animatic, or even an animation. Jake has been head over heels to start his own cartoon series when the show “Mighty Magiswords” debuted. The young artist is still attempting to gain a cartoon-ish art style, but is equally trying to become more inventive.
Briefly, Jake is a responsible and artistic student who loves helping others and dedicating time to assist his teachers. He focuses on his long-terms goals rather seriously and tries to finish his short-term goals the best way he can.
Loralana was born on April 5th, 2003 in Anchorage, Alaska. She has six siblings, she is the youngest of all. She is currently a proud eighth grade scholar at Clark Middle School. She enjoys and excels in her extracurricular activities; for example, her coach selected her MVP (Most Valuable Player) award on her Varsity Volleyball team. She also cultivates her academic and leadership skills as a member of the UAA Junior Leadership Fellows Academy, which she attends every first and third weekend, as well as the National Junior Honor Society.
When not at school, Loralana enjoys running and reading. Loralana does not have many hobbies. In fifth grade she attended Mountain View Elementary School where she was awarded a $20,000 scholarship. On occasion, she works with her sister on weekends or volunteers to assist her friend’s mother at Head Start, a daycare facility in Anchorage.
Bee Chang was born in Thailand on September 10, 2002 who attends Clark Middle School. This year, as an eighth-grade scholar, he joined the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy. When he was in fourth grade, his art teacher selected his drawing to be displayed at the Anchorage Museum, and he was requested to view his artwork at the exhibit.
During his free time, Bee enjoys playing soccer, eating food and drawing. He writes his own mysterious fictional stories, especially those involving mythical creatures. Bee has developed a reputation to do whatever it takes to help a friend in need. In elementary school, he volunteered about eighty percent of his lunch time to assist the custodian clean the school after lunch on a daily basis.
Levi Edward Campbell
Levi Edward Campbell is an 8th grade student currently attending Clark Middle School. He was born on September 29, 2002 in Anchorage, Alaska at Providence Hospital. He started his educational path at Denali Montessori School for Kindergarten, and went from there to Huffman Elementary School as a 2nd grade student, then to Wonder Park Elementary School for 3rd grade. He started attending Clark in 6th grade. In 2011 he competed in his first Battle of the Books tournament. Then he gained expertise in robotics while participating in a Lego League tournament in 2012. He is now a proud member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy. Throughout these experiences he has surrounded himself with more mature accomplices and developed his ability to lead and be part of a team.
Recently, Levi has been spending his time preparing for a debate tournament and Battle of the Books, but during his free time he loves rollerblading and inventing innovative robots. Another hobby of his is cooking; so far he has learned to make the most delicious spaghetti, pancakes, and deviled eggs. Not only that but he aspires to own a company designed for people who are allergic to certain foods but really wants to eat them. However, he is still working out the minor kinks in his life plan.
Sumitra Dahal is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School. She was born in Nepal and lived there for about six years until her family moved to Pennsylvania. Sumitra is the oldest daughter of Jivan and Ran; she has one younger sister named Salina. Sumitra is a proud member of the University of Alaska Leadership Fellows Junior Academy. Last year, she participated in the UAA Pre Medical Academy. She has been a consistent member of the Clark National Junior Honor Society every year since the sixth grade. Sumitra also explored her interest in music by playing the violin the Clark Orchestra. Sumitra’s dream is to become a doctor and take care of her parents. When she is not at school she likes to dance and volunteers to teach children how to dance. Sumitra has participated in many dance programs where she won several competitions and awards. She also enjoys sewing; she has crafted skirts and is now focusing on making dresses. In addition, she loves to cook, especially Asian foods in particular. That is the life of Sumitra Dahal.
Ayanah Lynette Fungcharoen-McCray
Ayanah Lynette Fungcharoen-McCray is a seventh-grade student at Clark Middle School and was born on January 16, 2004, at Providence Hospital in Anchorage, Alaska. Ayanah has lived in Anchorage her entire life and has been part of the Anchorage School District since she started school. She went to Chester Valley Elementary School since Kindergarten in 2009 and graduated there in 2015. She has one older sister, one little sister and one little brother and is the middle child from both her mother’s and father’s sides of the family. Ayanah joined the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy this year, and is also part of the Clark National Junior Honors Society. At Clark, she has competed in sports such as Track and Field, the Cross-Country Running Team and plays the viola in the Clark Orchestra.
Ayanah enjoys drawing, reading teenage fiction books with lots of drama action and listening to Korean pop music. She enjoys spending time with her older sister and best friend, Tailenn, her family, and her new 4-year-old Labradoodle, Knick. Ayanah is currently learning how to read, speak and write in Korean and in Filipino. She also likes to learn new things, take exciting adventures and shop at stores. In sixth grade, she was the only Clark student who auditioned and was accepted into the Anchorage School District Honor Orchestra. In addition, Ayanah is one of Clark's few representatives for the Anchorage School District Student Advisory Board. She has been a part of the Clark Smart Girls Rock Academy for the past two years. Ayanah excels in her academics, especially in the subjects of Language Arts, Writing, History and Math. She has a long history of earning straight A’s and maintaining her place on the Honor Roll. Ayanah is a 4.0 scholar and was the number one ranking student out of her class of 324 in sixth grade. Her goal in seventh grade is to achieve a 4.0 GPA the entire year and rank number one in her class once again. An interesting fact about Ayanah is that one of her favorite things about school is taking notes. She also enjoys running and sprinting during PE class. Ayanah aspires to go to college, pursue her long-term dreams and be successful throughout life.
Matia Rose Gillespie
Matia Rose Gillespie is an aspiring eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School who was born and raised in frosty Anchorage, Alaska on December 14, 2002. She has two brothers and four sisters, out of which she is the second oldest. Matia is a proud member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy where she has gained much knowledge and experience. Through this academy, she learned leadership skills and how to prepare for the future. Furthermore, Matia loves sports and staying active. She has competed in Clark Middle School’s Track and Field Team for the past three years.
Matia is an honor roll student who cares deeply for her success in the future. She plans to attend college and earn her master's degree. She wants to major in Law and minor in Business. When not at school, Matia spends most of her time with family and friends. Her hobbies include swimming, running and watching movies. In addition, Matia loves photography and her favorite kind of photos are of nature and the world around her. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and making other people’s days brighter. Recently, she helped give out presents to the elderly at The Anchorage Pioneer Home just to see the joy on their faces. During this past holiday season, Matia and her family handed out bus passes to the less fortunate in need of transportation in order to make the holidays special for everyone.
Aree Her is a proud eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School. She was born in Thailand and raised in the alluring Anchorage, Alaska. She attended Williwaw Elementary and Clark Middle School. She is an active member of the Clark National Junior Honor Society and UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy. Last year, she participated in the UAA Pre Medical Academy. These academies made an imprint on her by teacher her to find what she wants to succeed in life. An interesting fact about Aree is that she competed in Track-in-Field and Volleyball at Clark. She also placed third in Clark’s Annual Library Bookmark Contest and sang in the Clark Choir in sixth grade.
During her free time, Aree likes to watch movies and sing. She enjoys fishing and spending quality time with her friends and family. She also volunteers at the Mountain View Public library and helped with Trick-Or-Treat Town for two years. Aree regularly assisted her teachers and the Williwaw librarian throughout elementary school. She enjoys volunteering for the sensation of being helpful and acquiring skills that may benefit her in the future. Aree is bilingual; her first language is Hmong and her second is English. She would like to learn other languages in the future because she desires to travel, with Utah as her first destination. The areas of most importance to Aree are family and friends, exploring life, and her education. When exploring life, Aree wants to find herself in the near future to know who she is so she can start to flourish. Aree is audacious in taking opportunities in her education to make her life more exhilarating. She desires to achieve much in her life and plans to make her limitless dreams come true.
Anisa Lee is an eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School. She was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand on February 11th, 2003 and eventually moved to Anchorage, Alaska with her family. Anisa is the oldest of her two sisters but has three older brothers and one younger brother. She is fluent in English and Hmong. She is a dedicated student that ensures to maintain her grades while participating in various extracurricular activities. Anisa is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy, the Clark National Junior Honor Society, the Clark Smart Girls Rock Academy and the UAA Educational Talent Search. In elementary school she competed in the Battle of the Books and performed at the school talent show. She was elected Treasurer of the Clark National Junior Honor Society in 2016. Her favorite sports are volleyball and soccer, and she especially enjoys bonding with her teammates on the Clark volleyball team. She also competes for Clark’s track and field team in the following events: 800 meter run, 4x400 meter relay, and hurdles. Last year she ranked in the top five in the 800 meter run.
When not at school, Anisa enjoys playing Hmong jump rope and spending time with her family and friends. At home, she helps her parents by babysitting and doing chores around the house. Anisa enjoys spending her free time to help others. For example, she consistently volunteers to assist staff prepare for upcoming events at her school and volunteers at the Mountain View Library with her friends every Friday. Sometimes on the weekends she comes to play soccer at Clark with her friends.
Jabrina Mikell is an eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School who was born in Anchorage, Alaska. She has two wonderful brothers and is the youngest daughter of Kesha Mikell and Erickson Thomas. Jabrina has been a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy for two years, the Clark Junior Honor Society for two years, and has recently joined the Anchorage Youth Court after passing the Bar exam in Law Studies. She also competed on the Junior Varsity volleyball team at Clark Middle School for two years. Jabrina is overly grateful for Dr.Terry Nelson and her UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy. Dr. Nelson has given Jabrina life changing opportunities that will help shape her future. For example, at the ceremony of the academy Dr. Nelson and her colleagues issued SAT vouchers that the junior fellows can benefit from by taking UAA courses to prepare them for the SAT’s.
When not attending school, Jabrina spends her time eating, sleeping, watching TV and going out. Unknown to many of her friends, Jabrina enjoys to debate and recently joined a Speech Seminar class as an elective course. Most of all Jabrina loves spending time with her family. She is extremely involved in her mother's recovery from leukemia. She currently assist her mother with everyday activities, chemotherapy, and taking care of her grandmother's foster children.
Theresa Maestas is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School who was born and raised in American Fork, Utah. She has four siblings and is the second oldest daughter of Luana and James Glen Welker. In fifth grade, Theresa was the president of student government in fifth grade, participated in Cross Country Running and competed in Battle of the Books. Throughout these experiences, she learned skills that helped her become a proud member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy and president of the National Junior Honor Society at Clark Middle School. She also participates in various extracurricular activities such as volleyball (varsity team), competes in debates and takes a Law Studies elective course where she learns about her rights, the law and roles of being a citizen.
When not at school, Theresa spends most of her time sleeping, exercising, and shopping. An interesting fact that many people do not know about her is that she enjoys watching the sunset. This activity usually plays out on long rides or on a bench at Government Hill. Theresa is very involved in her community and sometimes volunteers at the Food Bank of Alaska with her church through “JustServe.” She also dedicates her time and energy to assist her mother at a daycare facility and sometimes helps at the Mountain View Library. Theresa is currently looking into a summer job and hopes to keep striving for success.
Joy Registe is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School that was born in the snowy city of Anchorage, Alaska on October 11, 2002. She is the youngest of three daughters. Joy is a proud member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy and the Clark National Junior Honor Society.
Joy spends most of her time writing and drawing when she is not at school. She also plays video games to spark inspiration for her artwork. Joy helps her mother with daycare on Mondays through Fridays every week.
Kao Xeng Thao
Kao Xeng Thao is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School who was born in Thailand. She has three brothers, four sisters, a mother, father, grandfather, and is the fourth oldest child. Kao Xeng is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy and the Clark National Junior Honor Society. She also competed in Track-and-Field and Volleyball at Clark Middle School. In Track-and-Field she participated in the triple and long jump, 800 meter run, and the 1600 meter run. She is fluent in English and Hmong and is currently learning Spanish at Clark. During her time at William Tyson Elementary, she competed in the school Spelling Bee, Math Derby, and the Battle of the Books.
During the summer when she is not at school, Kao Xeng enjoys spending quality time with her family while fishing, camping, and playing sports such as soccer and volleyball. She loves to volunteer and commits every Tuesday to help at the Mountain View library. Additionally while at home, she helps her mom do chores and clean the house. Sometimes she helps babysit at her cousin’s house and plays sports at the Clark field in the summer time.
Maiseng Thao is an eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School who was born in Thailand and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She has a family of twelve and is the fifth oldest child of Xia and Yer Thao. Maiseng is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy, the Clark National Junior Honor Society, and the Clark High School and College Preparation Academy. She is also a member of the school board student council. In addition, Maiseng competed for Clark Middle School’s Junior Varsity team and her coach awarded her the “Most Improved Player” this past season.
During her free time, Maiseng loves to read, create innovative ideas that will impact the world, and teach her prior knowledge to her siblings. She enjoys drawing and was awarded the Grand Prize for the calendar contest as a fifth-grade student at Williwaw Elementary School. Furthermore, she contributes to her community and regularly devotes her time to volunteer at the the Mountain View Neighborhood Library. Maiseng is determined to strive for success and gain more knowledge as she continues on the great adventures that await her in the future.
Kalyn Vang is a eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School. She was born and raised in the beautiful Anchorage, Alaska. She has five brothers and one sister. She is the youngest daughter between her and her sister. Kalyn is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Program. In addition, she competed in the Volleyball and Track and Field Teams for Clark Middle School and was part of the Clark Smart Girls Rock Program. She enjoys spending time with her friends who love volunteering to help teachers at Clark. In the 5th grade, she competed in a Math Derby and Battle of the Books. Kalyn also participated in Educational Talent Search (ETS) and in the Choir during her first year at Clark.
When not at school, Kalyn loves to spend her time drawing. She devotes most of her time to help her mom cook and babysit. She enjoys going out in the summer to spend time with her friends. They usually go to the field to play different types of pastime. The majority of Kalyn’s favorite sports are volleyball, soccer, badminton, and football. However, she has a girly side too; Kalyn likes to go shopping with her friends and plays with makeup when bored. Kalyn is an outgoing person who is highly loyal and dedicated to her friends and family throughout their ups and downs. Babysitting comes naturally to her because she finds babies adorable and loves playing with her younger brothers to brighten up their days. Kalyn is a proud daughter, sister, niece and granddaughter who always aims to protect her younger siblings and cousins as needed. She is peaceful-minded and constantly listens to music in order to concentrate or stay in an upbeat mood.
Pa Vue is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School. She was born in Thailand and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She is the second youngest in her family of seven brothers and two sisters. She is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy, the Clark National Junior Honor Society, and Educational Talent Search. Last year, she won second place in the annual library bookmark contest. Her favorite animals are elephants and pandas, and she enjoys watching movies, listen to music, and playing games.
Furthermore, Pa loves adventure, traveling, and the excitement of new things. She aspires to become a flight attendant and see the world. She plans to achieve her goal by taking classes that will support her future career. She is also interested in architecture, carpentry, and design. There are many dreams that Pa desires to come true such as seeing sky lanterns and tasting all kind of traditional foods from different cultures. Exploring life and the outside world is Pa’s passion!
A Xiong is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School who was born in Bangkok, Thailand on April 6, 2003. She is the second oldest child of Kang Xiong and Chong Moua. A has been a member of both the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy and the Clark National Junior Honor Society from 2015 to 2017. Throughout her middle school career, she has participated in numerous scholarly programs such as Educational Talent Search and Smart Girls Rock Academy and competed on Clark’s volleyball and track and field teams. At the end of her very first volleyball season, her coach awarded her the “Most Improved Player” on the team. A won first place in a reading competition called “The I-Did-A-Read” in which students completed readings and took quizzes from books about the Iditarod race. This came naturally to A because Language Arts and Writing are her favorite classes. These are some examples of A’s accomplishments over the past few years.
A is dedicated to her school and family provides them her utmost support. She enjoys spending her free time to help others. For example, she consistently volunteers to assist staff prepare for upcoming events at her school. She and her friends commit most of their Fridays to help organize books and movies at the Anchorage Public Library. The hobbies she enjoys the most include singing, spending time with friends and family, and shopping. At home, A helps her parents by babysitting her siblings and doing various chores around the house. A is eager to learn, gain experiences that benefit her future, and make her dreams become reality.
Chi Xiong is an eighth-grade scholar at Clark Middle School. He was born in Thailand, then his family relocated to Minnesota for several years and eventually settled in Alaska. He has three brothers and two sisters and is the oldest son of Pheng Xiong and Houa Lee. Being the oldest of his siblings, Chi’s parents depended on him for tasks such as interpreting, for they do not speak English. As a result, Chi has gained knowledge and skills that most young people his age have yet to experience. Chi is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Junior Academy at Clark Middle School. In fifth-grade, he and a team of students represented their school at a Math Derby competition and triumphed in first place.
When not at school, Chi spends his time playing sports and games and watching movies. Although he does not always express his emotions in front of his friends, Chi is a very caring person who dedicates his time to help others. In fifth grade he regularly volunteered to help the custodian wipe tables and take out trash after students finished eating their snacks in the after school program. He also helped set up and break down for events at his elementary school.
Maiger Yang is an eighth-grade student at Clark Middle School on Team Socrates. She was born in Sacramento, California and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She has six brothers and eight sisters, and is the seventh child of Kao Thao and Vang Yang. Maiger is a member of the UAA Leadership Fellows Juniors Academy, Clark Smart Girls Rock Academy, and Clark National Junior Honor Society. She also competed on the volleyball team at Clark and was awarded the “Most Improved Player” by her coach. Throughout the school year, Maiger competed in the Clark IDITAREAD and won second place.
When she is not at school, Maiger assists her parents by cleaning the house, cooking dinner, and monitoring her younger siblings. During her free time, she eats food and snacks and plays with her siblings. Maiger enjoys camping, hiking, playing outside, listening to music, and learning in school throughout the week and in the academies that meet on Saturdays. She also volunteers in the library at her previous elementary school after her day ends at Clark.