One America - Resource Apprenticeship Program for Students

Program: Resource Apprenticeship Program for Students, Anchorage, AL
Contact(s): Brenda Takeshorse, Director: (907) 271-3547
Purpose: To provide rural Alaska Native high school students with an awareness of natural resource management and to foster an interest in careers related to natural resources

Background Program Operations Outcomes


In 1987, the Resource Apprenticeship Program for Students (RAPS) was created by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Alaska to reach out to Native Alaskan youth. The program is meant to encourage low-opportunity, high-potential students to pursue higher education while providing them information regarding present and future employment opportunities with natural resource agencies. The long-range goals are to foster an awareness of the importance of implementing sound natural resource management practices in Alaska.

Program Operations

RAPS functions as a cooperative job-shadowing effort between BLM, the employer, the schools, the students' families and community organizations funding the students' stipends. This partnership provides employment, support and encouragement for these young people for a period of several years, beginning with their junior year in high school and continuing into college. Students 16-21 years of age who participate in RAPS learn about the program through youth conferences held throughout the state or from their school counselors. After successfully applying to the program, participants are signed up as volunteers by an agency or company providing job experience in the area of natural resources. High school guidance counselors particularly recommend this program to students who have an aptitude in math and science-related fields. Students who enter the program function as interns and/or apprentices to the agency or organization with which they are matched.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

RAPS is based upon partnerships between BLM, cooperating school districts, parents and other federal, state, or private organizations. BLM administers RAPS; school districts nominate and assist in the selection of program participants; parents provide moral support; and the federal, state, or private organizations provide training, funding and work experiences. On average, 30 students a year participate in the program. Agencies and organizations that accept students as interns include the Forest Service, the Park Service, Fish and Wildlife and the oil industry.

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