ANCHORAGE, AK – Coastal Villages Region Fund (CVRF) has awarded $205,900 in Louis Bunyan Memorial Scholarship (LBMS) to 69 Western Alaska youth for the 2015 fall semester. This is on top of the $157,648 awarded to 56 students for the 2015 spring semester. CVRF’s LBMS program began in 1993 and has since provided millions of dollars in scholarships to CVRF community residents.

“On behalf of the CVRF Board of Directors, I want to congratulate the young men and women of our region who have worked hard to further their education with the generous assistance of our scholarship program,” said CVRF Chairman Richard Jung of Napakiak. “We are very proud to manage our portion of the vast resources from the Bering Sea for the benefit of our people, young and old alike.”

In addition to the scholarship program, CVRF also provides students from its 20 Western Alaska member communities with the opportunity to learn real-world skills through its summer internship program. Internships generally last for two months during the summer, and have been known to lead to fulltime job offers, such as in the case of Rachel Ayaprun of Kipnuk, CVRF’s new Accounts Receivable Specialist. Students can apply for internships with CVRF’s headquarters office in Anchorage or with the local Community Service Center (CSC) in their hometown.

“I worked as an intern at the Kipnuk CSC in 2013, and was excited to get an offer to work in the Anchorage office this summer,” said Rachel Ayaprun of Kipnuk. “I wanted to use my business and accounting studies to work in the accounting department, and am very excited to have accepted a full-time job with CVRF.”

This year, CVRF hired a total of 26 interns – 8 in the Anchorage office and 18 in various member communities.

“Working with CVRF as an intern in Chevak has been an incredible experience,” said Shandel Pingayak. “This is the best job I have ever had and I look forward to reapplying next year.”

Many Western Alaska students have been able to take advantage of both the scholarship and internship programs.

“I have been a CVRF scholarship recipient and summer intern for two consecutive years,” said UAF student and Newtok resident, Kaitlin Tom. “Coastal Villages has given me a chance to further my education and learn valuable skills that will help me advance my career. As a kid who grew up in a village where opportunities are limited, I will be forever grateful that this company exists not just to further my education and career, but to fill the needs of the 20 communities it serves. It’s the people that make this company, and it’s been a great opportunity to be a part of that team of people.”

CVRF’s LBMS program offers spring and fall scholarships to member community residents every year, and internship opportunities are available each summer. More information on how to apply for these opportunities is available on CVRF’s website at

CVRF is a 501(c)(4) Alaska non-profit corporation whose 20 member villages are along the west coast of Alaska from Scammon Bay to Platinum. CVRF is believed to be the largest Alaskan-owned seafood company in history and is governed by a 20-member Board of Directors elected by the residents of its 20 member communities. CVRF is dedicated to providing economic development in its 20 member communities by creating sensible, tangible and long-term opportunities that generate Hope for residents who want to Fish and Work. CVRF is the largest jobs provider in its member villages and is the first CDQ group to own and control the vessels that harvest its CDQ allocations.
For more information, visit or contact Leila Smith at 907-278-5151. Please visit CVRF’s Facebook page at and Coastal’s Twitter page at