Please welcome SEACC’s interns for summer 2022!
Sydney Ribera, Development and Outreach Intern
Juneau | [email protected]
Sydney Ribera was born and raised in the Esto’k Gna Tribal homelands of Somi Se’k (Rio Grande Valley, Texas). She is Indigenous Andean, Amazonian, and mixed Scots-Irish. She graduated from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with her bachelor’s in environmental science and a minor in sociology, and she is pursuing her master’s in agricultural, environmental, and sustainability sciences.Her past research includes the environmental and societal effects of the border wall in Somi Se’k, converting organic debris into biochar to promote local soil and plant health, and designing urban landscapes to support pollinators and optimize sustainability. She recently completed her fellowship with U.S. Fish & Wildlife for the Elevating Arctic Youth Voices project where she created an Indigenous Style Writing Guide and wrote about Arctic Youth Ambassador alumni perspectives and successes. Sydney is dedicated to the Quechua principles of Ayllu (collectiveness) and Sumaq Kawsay (harmony of all life) and has been a part of groups like the No Border Wall Coalition to protect Somi Se’k from environmental and colonial exploitation. She is also involved with Divest Invest RGV as an environmental justice educator and The Young Center as a representative for immigrant children.In her personal life, Sydney enjoys writing and has published poetry in the Plurilingual & Pluriculturales Newsletter and Called to Rise: Rio Grande Valley Youth Anthology. She operates Camba Cat Art as a professional painter and specializes in whimsical, surreal, and fantasy styles. You can also find her playing soccer, foraging, hiking, cooking, and studying Andean philosophies.
Samara Kookesh, Climate Program Intern
Angoon | [email protected]
Samara Kookesh was born in Juneau but grew up in Angoon, Alaska. She is Tlingit, Athabaskan, and Mexican from her father’s side, and Yup’ik and Iñupiaq from Akiachak, Alaska, on her mother’s side. She grew up learning Tlingit traditions like Tlingit language, songs, and dances. Samara attended Feather River College, a community college in Quincy, California, where she also played basketball. This fall, she will transfer to Grand Canyon University in Phoenix to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Justice Studies. After finishing school in the Lower 48, Samara hopes to return to Alaska and attend the University of Alaska Fairbanks to pursue an additional degree in Alaska Native Studies. Aside from work, Samara loves music, going to the gym, and reading works from writers like Colleen Hoover and similar authors.