Laura VanAmburg is a driven 18-year-old and it's easy to see that by just one conversation with her.

“I graduated [high school] on the eleventh and work started on the fourteenth,” VanAmburg said, “I packed everything up and got down here barely in time for work. I got in at like, midnight."

VanAmburg is from Noatak, a small village of about 500 residents in the northwest part of Alaska, but she's currently working her first job at the Riverboat Discovery in Fairbanks. She is working a full-time job this summer to save money for college. 

"I applied for scholarships, but I knew that wouldn't be enough. I knew that I should get a summer job, work through the summer," VanAmburg said. "[I wanted to] save up so that I would be able to pay my expenses through college because right now my goal is to get through college with as little debt as possible."

She said just moving to Fairbanks has been a big adjustment but her managers say she's adjusting well.

"I was surprised to see [that] especially from someone who could be very timid from a small place like that, I know I would be," said VanAmburg's manager Jacque Binkley-Mitchell. "She interviewed excellently and she interacts really well with customers, which is obviously one of our top priorities here." 

In the fall, VanAmburg will be attending University of Alaska Fairbanks to pursue a degree in teaching. Being in Fairbanks for the summer is giving her the chance to explore the city she will call home for the next four years.

"We don't have a [Department of Motor Vehicles] in the village so I don't have my driver’s license," VanAmburg said, "So that's one thing I’m working on this summer too, is learning Fairbanks and learning roads."

After graduation VanAmburg plans to move back to her village of Noatak and teach at her former high school.

“I really enjoy school; I love it. So, I think I’m really going to love learning," VanAmburg said.

Congratulations to Laura VanAmburg, a Fund the Future scholarship recipient.