Private donations boost funds for legislative internship program

Peak Trust Co., a wealth management firm with offices in Alaska and Nevada, has joined Chugach Alaska Corp. to match a $10,500 gift challenge by the Ted Stevens Foundation for its legislative internship program, with its own $10,500 donation.

Overall private donors now have raised over $90,500 to fill a gap left by a $57,000 budget cut in 2016.

Peak Trust’s donation will open a new fund specifically in support of scholarships for students enrolled as full-time, unpaid legislative interns for the Senator Ted Stevens Legislative Internship Program.

Peak Trust co-founder Doug Blattmachr said the firm spends a fair amount of time working with legislators trying to improve Alaska’s trust laws.

“We know the workload the staff takes on and felt it was something worthwhile that we would like to support,” Blattmachr said.

The non-partisan program allows students enrolled at the University of Alaska Southeast the opportunity to work in state legislative offices in Juneau during the legislative session while studying public policy that is Alaska-focused. Participants draft legislation, testify in committees and earn academic credits by participating in a weekly policy seminar.

More than 300 students have participated in the program and 40 percent of past participants have been hired as professional staff for the Legislature.

More information is online at www.uas.alaska.edu/development.

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