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My Life’s Path Goes Through APU

By John Yakanak

In August of 2011, I was released from the hospital after having been treated for a neurological disorder that left me without the ability to walk and talk. After the countless hours of therapy and relearning, I decided to apply the learning habits I acquired through therapy and go back to school.

In August of 2012, being a first year student who graduated from high school in 1988, I was filled with excitement to pursue what I had only dreamed of a year earlierr — attending APU.

APU fit the criteria I was looking for: smaller school and classes meant ideal learning conditions. I felt that these conditions would provide a better education.

Aside from my recovery from a serious health condition and a 24-year break from high school, I have confidence in my abilities. Coming up right now on the end of my first semester, I know that this was the right choice. I look forward to my scholastic career, and I am truly enjoying my experience here at APU.

With my “I just got my foot in the door” attitude, the optimism I had when learning to walk, the sense of accomplishment, and a strong work ethic, I have learned and am succeeding. I continue to improve and flourish here. I know that I am on the right path.


John Yakanak is originally from Kodiak. He is majoring in Human Services.


  1. Auntie Gina says:

    CONGRATULATIONS, John!!! What a role model for not only your kids, but for the rest of your family & friends!! Best wishes for the next semester. Love from, Auntie Gina

  2. Jan Richardson says:

    John, I am very proud of you! All of your hard work is paying off! Good luck with the rest of the year! Enjoy your christmas break! Love, Auntie Jan

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