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Doyon Foundation Student Profile: Felisha Cooper

Felisha Cooper already has one degree and will complete her second this month – all without ever stepping foot in a classroom. Felisha, a Doyon Foundation scholarship recipient, was able to do this through the University of Phoenix Online.

“I chose to do my higher education completely online because I wanted to be able to work full time, and still have a flexible schedule. The major benefit from doing it online was being able to get it done quickly and at my own pace,” she said.

Felisha, who is originally from Galena and now lives in North Pole, will be complete with the coursework for her second degree – a bachelor’s in business administration – on April 30 and graduation is planned for late June in Arizona. She obtained an associate’s degree in business two years ago.

But don’t expect her to stop there. Felisha, who works as a program assistant with the Fairbanks Alcohol Safety Action Program at Fairbanks Native Association, already has plans to work on a degree in criminal justice.

“My goal for the future is to learn as much as possible, even if that means to obtain one or two more degrees,” she said.

Although she’s eager to continue her education, it hasn’t always been an easy journey. Felisha says the biggest challenge was not having instructors or counselors she could talk to in person.

“It was all through e-mail, and a few phone calls. This has definitely been the hardest part, because there were times where I really needed help, but I would not get a response for another day or two,” she said.

“The advice I would give to other students regarding furthering their education online is to be prepared not to have someone that you can actually meet with for questions.”

The other challenge she faced was finances.

“I have come to realize that furthering your education can be very expensive, and with the help of the Doyon Foundation, it has definitely made a difference. When I go for my next degree, I hope to have the support of the Doyon Foundation again,” said Felisha, who is the daughter of Richard Esmailka and Christine Cooper, and the granddaughter of the late Edgar “Sam Billy” Esmailka, the late Wilhelmina Yaska, Paddy Yaska, Claude Cooper and Jean Keogh.