AK | Next

AK|Next is a reflective, experiential program focused on developing leadership, cross cultural understanding, and connections between Alaskan youth.

Cultivating and connecting young leaders who practice collective leadership with empathy.

AK Next

Core Elements of the Program:

This program takes place in early summer, bringing together youth from across Alaska to learn and practice leadership skills. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Alaska Native Education Program, AK|Next builds on the Forum's work with youth over the past two decades.

This program is offered at no cost to participants.

This program is open to all current high school students interested in exploring leadership - we need all types of young people! Everyone has the potential to change their community. We're seeking high school students who are passionate, eager to represent their communities, and excited about learning with and from other students from across Alaska. We want to build a movement of young people inspiring change in their communities.

  • Sense of Self: We believe youth must have a strong sense of self as a foundation to stand upon. We ask youth to dig deep and explore what makes them unique.
  • Reflection: We ask participants to take time to reflect while fostering personal growth. This time helps to deepen the learning and process those tough questions. This is the time to take risks and consider different perspectives.
  • Networks: We believe that participants should take time to connect with each other in order to form a strong cohort and move our communities forward. These networks will be used far beyond the length of the program.
  • Experiential Learning: We believe experiences are powerful learning opportunities. We ask youth to discover different types of leadership. We ask them to try the new and unexpected.
  • Diversity: We intentionally select diverse groups of youth. We want them to learn about each other’s cultures, perspectives, and ways of life. Youth interact with various cultures in order to understand other perspectives as well as reflect upon their own.
  • Collective Leadership: We've learned that in today's world lasting success is not possible without diverse perspectives and contributions. Participants will learn how to harness shared leadership among a group rather than the skills of one person to achieve their goals.

Application deadline: Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Program Dates: July 25-29, 2022 in Anchorage (please note the program dates have been shifted due to unforeseen logistics changes.)

AK|Next is a week-long, overnight program with housing provided. This program is offered at no cost to participants (including travel).

Please note that students must be comfortable traveling to and from Anchorage on their own.


AK|Next is open to all 8th-12th grade students in Alaska (students must be at least 13 years old at the time of the program).

COVID Vaccination Policy

Participants are required to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccines in order to participate in AK|Next. Up-to-date means a person has received all recommended COVID-19 vaccines, including any booster dose(s) when eligible. Participants will be required to show proof of being up-to-date or apply for a medical or religious exemption upon acceptance into AK|Next.

How to apply

Applications for AK|Next 2022 are closed.

Alaska Humanities Forum

The Alaska Humanities Forum is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that designs and facilitates experiences to bridge distance and difference – programming that shares and preserves the stories of people and places across our vast state, and explores what it means to be Alaskan.

Alaska Humanities Forum
Stories Blog
Back to Top