Our Student Spotlight for February is sophomore, Cleo Susook. Cleo has shown tremendous commitment and perseverance through his higher education journey. Cleo is consistent in his attendance and always gives his best in his coursework at Iḷisaġvik. We are proud to offer this recognition to him for all he does and strives to do for a brighter future. Keep up the good work!
Where are you from?
I’m from here on the North Slope — I was born in Barrow, raised in Atqasuk.
What are you studying at Iḷisaġvik College?
I’m in the Iñupiaq Studies program, going for an Iñupiaq Language Certificate and then an AA degree!
What made you decide to enroll in classes at Iḷisaġvik?
I wanted to learn my native language again. I grew up with my grandparents who don’t speak English and wanted to be able to communicate with them and other elders, and learn the history of my culture. It would be nice to communicate in Iñupiaq with the Elders around town, at the AC or at the post office.
What are your educational goals?
I want to increase my COMPASS scores, and do a good job on all of my tests and assignments. One day I want to be a teacher for the school district. I always thought teachers were cool when I was growing up.
I want to set a good example for other people. I’m getting scholarships, and it’s great! (Organizations) want to give money to students who are doing good in school! I’m also so excited to be only 6 credits away from graduating!
What are your hobbies when you aren’t studying or working?
I love playing music: drums, bass and electric guitar. I’m trying to get a band together. I like to play music from the 60s and 70s — like the Beatles, Eric Clapton, CCR, the Rolling Stones…
What advice do you have for people thinking about signing up for classes?
I would tell them to sign up so they can better their chances of getting a good, permanent job for themselves. It’s important because it helps the community and local economy stay healthy and strong.
Iḷisaġvik is a good place to learn – if you want to learn something, this is the place to do it! The teachers are really good about working with students.
Anything else you want to add?
Good luck to all the College students! It’s been a lot of work for them!