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A Youth Summit in Kiana

Nick Hanson, from the very top of a large, wooden structure, looks down on children sitting on the floor of the Kiana school gymnasium.
Nick Hanson, well-known in Alaska for his appearance on TV’s “American Ninja Warrior,” addresses conference youth from high atop a “warped wall” he built. Photo: Lauren Frost, KNOM.

Last month, a student-led organization in Kiana (ky-ANN-uh), an Alaska village just north of the Arctic Circle, hosted a conference intended to rally Western Alaska youth to be leaders and positive role models within their communities.

The goal of OPT In Kiana (“One Positive Thing”) is to do at least one positive action every day. The weekend conference encouraged participants to do the same. Presentation topics included songwriting, quitting tobacco, and suicide prevention, and participants relished in local culture through Alaska Native drumming and dancing and traditional foods. Among the presenters was a young man that may be familiar to Static readers: Nick Hanson of Unalakleet, otherwise known as the “Eskimo Ninja Warrior” (as described in our December 2016 issue).

KNOM was also invited to present at the conference. Volunteer producer Lauren Frost spoke to the young attendees about the importance of journalism. Behind the scenes, she also gathered new material for future radio stories and spots. Trips like these are a special way that KNOM connects with listeners, both on the air and face-to-face.

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