Outward Bound 2013

Outward Bound        Outward Bound

In July seven TAAV members and the two TAAV coordinators traveled to central Oregon to participate in an Outward Bound five day white water rafting course.   The group travelled down the Deschutes River learning rafting techniques, leave no trace camping skills, and valuable instruction in leadership, communication, and teamwork.  TAAV members further challenged themselves by swimming through rapids and jumping off some 10 foot rocks.   All the teens finished the course with a renewed sense of empowerment and commitment to their work in Bethel and TAAV. After Outward Bound the group also spent 3 days in Portland going swimming, shopping, and going to the movies!  Outward Bound is one of the highlights of the TAAV program- for many it was their first time traveling down states and it was truly rewarding for all.  Though TAAV members fundraise all year to fund Outward Bound, all of the flights were generously donated by community members!  Thanks to all who support Teens Acting Against Violence!


Teens Lead Ahead 2013

This June, Teens Acting Against Violence hosted its third annual Teens Lead Ahead Camp.  Twenty eight youth from Kotlik, Napaskiak, Kipnuk, and Kwethluk along with twenty TAAV members gathered in Bethel for this 3 day event.  A highlight of the camp was the day spent at fish camp during which youth were able to participate in fishing, cutting fish, plucking birds, gathering wood, and making story knives.  Rob Kinean, an Anchorage based chef who specializes in traditional foods spent time with the group, cooking a smelt salsa and a duck soup.  Campers were also lead through a community planning activity by one of the Green Dot violence prevention facilitators.  Keggulluk gave several presentations along with the Promoting Health Among Teens peer education group.   Other highlights of the camp included a town wide scavenger hunt and a dance held at the teen center.  Overall, the third year of the camp was a continued success and involved more youth leadership, including several TLA alumni serving as chaperones.  Once again, this year’s TLA would not have been possible without the generous support from  our partners- YKHC, AVCP, ONC, and LKSD, ANDVSA, TWC staff, and all of our community volunteers!

Dewitt moves from TWC to BCS Foundation

From KYUK.org

by Angela Denning-Barnes on May 3, 2013

03052013dewittThe name Michelle Dewitt has grown almost synonymous with the Tundra Women’s Coalition in Bethel. She’s been with the regional shelter for the past 16 years and was essential in getting a new shelter up and running. However, she has recently resigned and this fall will be moving over to run the philanthropic organization, Bethel Community Services Foundation.

“We’re very pleased and happy to have her on board,” says Frank Neitz, Board Chair the foundation.

BCSF helps fund local projects. It’s involved in investments, owns 14 properties in Bethel, and runs gaming like the Kuskokwim Ice Classics. It has helped fund such programs as the dental health aide therapists, and Best in the West which gives grants to start up local businesses.

“Our primary mission is to fund things local,” Neitz says.

Dewitt did not take her decision to leave TWC lightly.

“I have loved my work here in children’s program and legal advocacy and then the last almost 13 years as the director, and it has been a fantastic tenure,” Dewitt says.

Dewitt says her experiences at TWC have created new interests for her that have led her to BCSF. She says it is an exciting opportunity since she’s coming from a non-profit organization background.

“We’ve been on the receiving end of funds for a very long period of time, seeking grants to make projects and activities work and to fund them, and over that period of time, I’ve become more and more curious about being on the funding side of projects and working in philanthropy and working with funders,” Dewitt says.

Dewitt says she’s interested in coordinating with other foundations and exploring new partnerships to help fund local projects and activities.

Dewitt will stay with TWC until October to help the organization transition into new leadership.

Elizabeth Roll is President of the TWC Board of Directors.

“She’s been such an integral part of TWC for over 16 years and has really grown the organization exponentially,” Roll says. “We’re really happy to be able to have about a six month notice to be able to work on our new executive director.”

They are big shoes to fill. So, how do you go about filling them? In this case, you hire two people instead of just one. Roll says TWC is creating a deputy director’s position.

“Some of that responsibility will be diverted to the deputy director, simply to make the executive director role a little more manageable,” Roll says, “and that way there will have two people helping run the organization together.”

View the Job Opening and Description here.

Thrift Store News!


TWC recently welcomed a new Thrift Store Manager. Ernestina Atcherian accepted an Americorps VISTA position as Thrift Store and Volunteer manager through the Alaska Immigration Justice Project. We are thrilled to have her on board at TWC. Ernestina can be reached at Ernestina_Atcherian@twcpeace.org. Ernestina is always looking for volunteers so if you are interested in helping out with the store, please contact her!

Introducing New 2013 Hours
Wednesday-Saturdays, Noon to 6 pm

The Thrift Store is located at 576 Willow in Bethel- call the store at 543-3474 any time during its hours OR you can reach Ernestina between 10 a.m .and noon Wedensdays-Fridays and all day on Tuesdays at TWC’s main building, 543-3444.

TWC Youth Services Travels to Schools


Pictured are Youth Services Coordinator, Eileen Arnold, TAAV Coordinator Lou Vilardo, and TAAV member Megan Moses. Lou is teaching Megan and Eileen how to juggle while we’re on weather hold, trying to get to Akiachak.

As the winter school semester continues, TWC’s Youth Services staff is planning their semester of school travel.  Every year, schools from various districts in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta request an opportunity to receive safety classes from Youth Services staff for all of their students.  A safe/unsafe touch class for K-2 is offered, along with an anti-bullying class for older elementary students.  For middle and high school, a teen dating violence clas/healthy relationships class is offered; peer taught by TWC’s TAAV members.  In the Fall 2012 semester we traveled to Napaskiak, Atmautluak, Unalakleet, Nunam Iqua, and Mountain Village.  In February we traveled to Tuluksak for their educational summit and have plans to travel to Akiachak, and Goodnews Bay this semester as well.  If people are interested in having staff come to your community school, please contact Eileen at TWC–543-3444.

Quyana! Pick.Click.Give Donors! Thank YOU!

TWC wants to thank everyone who donated a portion of their Permanent Fund Dividend throught the Pick.Click.Give. program in 2012. TWC received over $15,000 for services and activities as a result of your generosity. Quyana!

It’s time again to file for PFDs – please consider supporting TWC.

Your dedicated Pick.Click.

Give dollars are making a difference!