2011 Iditarod Champion John Baker Joins Forces To Sustain Youth Leaders Program

BAKERSTILLAn Alaskan School District very near and dear to 2011 Iditarod Champion John Baker became the recipient of a $1.25 million donation from Teck, the company that manages Red Dog Operations.

Teck will donate $1.25 million over the next five years to the Northwest Arctic Borough School District (NWABSD) Youth Leaders Program – a suicide prevention and youth leadership program based in the Northwest Arctic schools.

“The Youth Leaders Program has dramatically improved student health and is now recognized as one of the most successful youth programs in the state of Alaska,” said School Superintendent Dr. Norm Eck. “Teck’s generous donation will ensure this successful program continues to operate for the next five years.”

The Youth Leaders program has been an integral part of the NWABSD since its inception in 2008. Over that period, the district has gone from having one of the highest suicide rates in the State of Alaska to zero suicides in the 2010 – 2011 school year.

Teck’s donation was announced at the Teck-sponsored ‘Celebrate a Champion’ John Baker dinner held in Anchorage Alaska on Wednesday, July 20.

In recognition of Teck’s significant donation and John Baker’s win of the 2011 Iditarod. The Youth Leaders Program will now be called the “Teck John Baker Youth Leaders Program”.

“John Baker’s perseverance and win of the 2011 Iditarod serves as a great example to youth across Alaska,” said Doug Horswill, Senior Vice President Sustainability and External Affairs at Teck. “We are very pleased to be able to continue to support this important program and help to inspire a new generation of youth to reach their dreams.”