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Tiana Woods

Tiana Woods, a 2011 graduate of Effie Kokrine Charter School, has big plans for her future and a good idea of how she is going to get there.

“I am dedicated to building a successful future for myself by focusing on all the logistical steps to make my goals attainable,” said Tiana, who is from Fairbanks, Alaska.

Ultimately, Tiana wants to become a pediatrician, first serving in the Peace Corps and then returning to practice medicine in her home state. She plans to attend the University of Alaska and work toward a pre-medical undergraduate degree in science, with a minor in art. She’s also interested in participating in the WWAMI medical school program and then pursuing her doctorate overseas through a study abroad program.

Tiana has already gotten a taste of college by taking classes at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) through her school’s early college program. She said she is grateful to Doyon Foundation for the funding she received to pay for her classes, as well as for the essay-writing and scholarship workshops the Foundation has offered.

“I am thankful for the opportunities they have provided to help me navigate my future,” she said.

Tiana is active and involved in her school and community, participating in activities such as Upward Bound, Rural Alaskans Honors Institute, FNA JOM potlatch dance group, Native Youth Olympics, Student 2 Student, Key Club, Youth Multi-Cultural Awareness, Future Educators of Alaska and others – all while maintaining her honor roll standing. She said that cultural activities have also played an important role in her life. Most recently, Tiana joined the Athabascan dance group at UAF “as one of the ways to balance culture while pursuing my academic goals.”

“My balance of school, cultural and community service activities has helped form me into a well-rounded person,” she said.

One of the biggest challenges Tiana said she has faced during her high school career has been finding cultural balance as a Native student in an urban environment. “To overcome this challenge I have actively sought opportunities to practice culture and challenge myself academically. By grounding myself culturally, I have developed a strong foundation to pursue my goals,” she said.

Tiana counsels other students to “Live life by your own definition of success and don’t believe people when they say you aren’t capable of accomplishing your goals. Always push yourself to your full potential. I would also suggest developing your own set of standards so you are not susceptible to giving into others’ standards that don’t reflect your values or goals. I have also found that smiling and keeping a good sense of humor helps you to address success and hardship in the best possible way.”

Tiana is the daughter of Phyllis Attla from Huslia and Jerry Woods from Manley Hot Springs, Rampart and Tanana. She is the granddaughter of Shirley Vent from Hughes and George Attla from Huslia, and Judy Woods from Tanana and the late Walter Woods from Rampart.