Mike Kirk’s commitment to youth began in the 1950s, when he arrived in Juneau to teach high school math. More than sixty years later, and even after his death in 2013, that commitment is still strong. Through a bequest in his will, Mike established a scholarship fund in honor of his parents and the love of education they instilled in him. He wanted to do something to continue to serve local students into the future. The first scholarships from the Simon and Anna Kirk Scholarship Fund were awarded this past year.
Changing the lives of students…
Mike saw the scholarship as a way to even out the playing field for students who want to succeed. “His thing was that if you’re a young person who wants to learn, wants to move forward, wants to be engaged, there shouldn’t be hurdles,” said Mike Stanley, a longtime friend.
…by unlocking opportunity for all.
Mike Kirk’s role as a devoted teacher was only the most visible of the many ways he supported the community he loved. He volunteered at Zach Gordon Youth Center, supported the arts, and often worked behind the scenes to help out wherever and whenever he could.
“Establishing a scholarship was the final big step, but he’d been helping young people his whole life.” —Mike Stanley