The Forum is excited to welcome Helen Panruk John as a Youth Program Coordinator.  Helen's family is from Toksook Bay and Unalakleet and she spent part of her childhood in Bethel before her family moved to Anchorage where Helen graduated from Bartlett High School.

Prior to receiving a BA in Political Science with a Minor in American Indian Studies from Central Washington University in June of 2020, Helen was part of the Spring 2020 Native American Political Leadership Program in Washington, DC. Through this program, Helen took classes at George Washington University and served as an intern for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute where she worked with the Champions for Change program and attended various events on Capitol Hill relating to Native American and Alaska Native issues. 

After graduating, Helen spent her ninth summer commercial fishing in Bristol Bay on her family’s commercial drift boat.  She then worked on a senate campaign for several months before joining the Forum.

"In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends," Helen shares.  "I also love being active outside hiking, spending time around water, and snowboarding in the winter. I am excited for this opportunity and looking forward to having good conversations with youth and also with my colleagues. Everyone is adjusting and finding ways to continue to run cool programs online, so I am looking forward to learning from and participating in other events at the Forum!"