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August 9, 2019

Contact Information:

Challenge Alaska
(907) 344-7399

Subject: Challenge Alaska Executive Director Announcement

The Challenge Alaska Board of Directors is pleased to announce that J. Nathan Boltz has been selected as Executive Director. In his new role Boltz will lead the operations of Challenge Alaska, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing therapeutic recreation opportunities for Alaskans living with disability.  

 A resident of Alaska for nearly all of his life, Boltz brings over 20 years of professional experience, including over a decade of experience leading organizations dedicated to serving Alaskans with disabilities.  David Hart, Challenge Alaska Board President states, “We are extremely excited to have Nate lead Challenge Alaska into the future. He has a proven record of effective management, and a tireless passion for progressing our organization’s mission.”

 Boltz will assume the role on September 3rd, ensuring a smooth transition coordinated with Elizabeth Edmands-Merritt’s retirement.  Boltz explains, “It is truly an honor to be entrusted with the organization that Beth has dedicated over 20 years of her life to.  I look forward to working with Challenge Alaska’s Board, staff, donors, and clients to make sure that Alaska is at the forefront of inclusion in all aspects of sports and recreation.” 

Founded in 1980 by Douglas Keil, Challenge Alaska is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit with locations in Anchorage and Girdwood that provide clients from all over the state with a wide range of opportunities, including an adaptive skiing and snowboarding school, Para-cycling, disabled hockey programs, hospital based therapy services, disabled veteran programs, and much more.  For more information about Challenge Alaska, visit








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Intern - Private Page




Abbey LaMee - Summer 2017

Housing: I lived on campus at UAA for my internship, and I have mixed feelings/opinions on it. On one hand, it was much more affordable than anywhere else I found in town, but the communication with the UAA personnel was not always clear or consistent. I had to move mid-internship because of the way their housing is set up, but they were helpful through that process. They have four bedroom, 1 bathroom apartments with a full kitchen and living area. The apartments are inconsistent with what they have; one had a microwave, dishes, pots and pans, and the other did not. Overall, it was an okay experience, and worth looking into if you struggle finding somewhere that's affordable. If you are interested in pursuing this, Elizabeth Barnes is the contact there- her email is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

NCTRC Exam: I definitely recommend the blue NCTRC Study Guide book, it's a great reference to get an idea of how questions are formatted and general concepts that you will see on the exam. I took each of the practice exams, then highlighted concepts or terms I did not remember or understand and reread notes about them or googled them as needed. I do NOT recommend paying $25 for the online NCTRC Practice Exam- it's 90 questions and you have 100 attempts in 48 hours, but the questions remain the same no matter what attempt you are on. I copied all of these questions into a word document- Jeff has a copy of it! Rereading notes from your classes can also be super helpful if you have access to good notes. Don't put studying off! I started about 2-3 weeks before my exam and still didn't feel 200% confident for it; I passed, but I wish I would have felt more prepared. This is all my opinion; you know what study method works for you, so follow your gut!

Schoolwork: If your school requires you to write reports, I recommend writing those days before they're due. With programs and events, you may not have time to write in on the actual due date, so it's nice to have it done ahead of time. I also recommend writing down notes throughout the week so you have some things to go off of when writing your paper.

Packing: I would recommend bringing 2-3 business casual outfits, and mostly athletic wear for programs and trips. Rain gear is a must for camping and fishing trips. Don't bring as many clothes as you think you need; you will probably not need most of them anyway. Always have a jacket- the office usually feels like an ice box. Bring comfort items- a blanket, favorite book, something from home; being 3,900 miles from home, it was nice to have something that made me less homesick.

Overall: Enjoy these 16 weeks, I promise they go way too quickly. Enjoy Jeff and Brandon's random, hilarious stories. Enjoy the challenging questions they will ask you and embrace every opportunity you get to learn. Enjoy your clients; even the ones that drive you absolutely INSANE- you will learn so much from them, and I can guarantee that you will miss them when it's time to leave. Be confident, passionate, hard-working, genuine, and BE YOURSELF! Oh, and ALWAYS let Jeff talk you into ordering lunch- don't hate on fun.

Support Challenge Alaska at the Aces

Join Challenge Alaska's sled hockey team this Thursday at the Sullivan Arena. Cheer on the Alaska Aces as they take on the Utah Grizzlies. Puck drop is at 7:05 pm. Use the link, userid and password on the attached photo and get a discounted ticket. Plus a portion of your ticket benefits Challenge Alaska! And watch the sled hockey team as they play a quick game during the first intermission. What could be better on a Thursday evening?

Figarelle's Fitness Sponsors Challenge Alaska

Every Saturday during the months of February and March, Figarelle's Fitness LLC has Boot Camp for a Cause' supporting Challenge Alaska. Their group fitness classes are at 9:30am and 11am every Saturday. Figarelle's Fitness is asking for a minimum donation of $10 per class, and all proceeds will be donated to Challenge Alaska. For more information about how you can join them for a Boot Camp workout, please contact them at

Gym address: 6407 Brayton drive Anchorage, AK 99507. Ph. 907-952-8809.