On behalf of the board of directors of the Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau I would like to applaud Carrol and JoAnne Martin of the Diamond M Ranch for their gracious hospitality in providing housing for three weeks recently for a group of youth volunteers from the Tribal Civilian Community Corps (TCCC), an AmeriCorps program through the Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Six Native youths and their supervisor were here in the Kenai area working on a wide variety of community service projects and provided assistance to the Kenai CVB, the Kenai Chamber of Commerce, the Kenaitze Indian Tribe, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank and Kenai Peninsula College.
The objective of the program is to provide a culturally relevant opportunity for young Native adults to go to local communities and at the same time develop leadership skills while gaining education and work experience.
The group was very pleased with its experience here. They were surprised by how different the lifestyle here is compared to the Interior. They really enjoyed their exposure and felt that people here were extremely nice and friendly. Their experience with the Kenaitze tribal members was particularly memorable the songs, dancing and even the drums were quite different from their own even though many of them are also Athabaskan.
Our community benefited greatly from this exchange. The Martins' generosity in providing housing was a key component of this success, and TCCC has indicated that it will be looking forward to returning to our region in subsequent years.
Ricky Gease, Executive director Kenai Convention and Visitors Bureau
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