Every summer during her childhood, Amanda Attla would drive up the Haul Road with her family to go to fish camp on the Yukon River. During each trip,
she was always intrigued by the big trucks and heavy equipment she saw along the way.
“There wasn’t a summer that went by that we didn’t see this, and I always thought in my mind, ‘that’s what I want to do when I grow up,’”
said Attla, who is originally from Fairbanks and is currently living in Wasilla. “I always thought, ‘if a man can do it, a woman can, too.’
I hope all young ladies in Alaska can take my advice – don’t hold back, go for it, it’s all up to you.”
Attla’s childhood dreams are finally coming true. The Doyon Foundation vocational scholarship recipient recently completed her training at
Northern Industrial Training, where she studied heavy equipment operation, and received certifications in first aid/CPR, Mine Safety and
Health Administration (MSHA), and traffic control flagging. She also obtained her North Slope Training Cooperative (NSTC) card, commercial
driver’s license, and hazardous materials and tanker endorsements.
“I would like to obtain full-time, permanent employment to better myself, have a bigger and brighter future for me and my daughter, and
to show all kids throughout Alaska that no matter who you are, you can complete and accomplish your dreams,” said Attla, who is a single
mother to her daughter, Chelsea.
In addition to her training and her family, Attla is also very involved in the community, volunteering her time with Job Corps, Kenai
Peninsula Winter Games, Native Youth Olympics, and Arctic Winter Games. She is also an Alaska Native art and history tradition bearer.
“Everything that I do is to better our youth, for they are our future,” she said.
Obtaining funding was the biggest challenge Attla faced in her pursuit of education.
“A lot of people think that it’s hard, but the funding is out there. I would like to thank Doyon, Knik Tribal Council, and Job Service.
If it wasn’t for these people, I would not be fulfilling my dreams,” Attla said. “I needed Doyon’s help to get me to my next step in
life. I greatly appreciate their generosity. There are many Doyon shareholders that need to further their education and have a future.
Doyon Foundation gives us that future.”
Many other people supported and encouraged Attla along the way.
“All of my instructors have told me to ‘keep on keepin’ on, you can make it to wherever you put your mind to, don’t give up.’
They are all very encouraging,” Attla said. “I would also like to thank my mother and step-father for supporting me; my daughter;
my dad for showing me how to be a leader; my family; my Native games kids; Sondra Stuart for believing in me; and all those people
who have cared for me in my life. You all have made me a better person and I strive to just make it better.”
Attla is the daughter of George Attla, and Karen and Ron Rifredi (step-father); and the granddaughter of the late George and
Eliza Attla, Agnes Ostlund and the late Phillip Huhndorf, and Bob Dolan and the late Carol Dolan (step-grandparents).