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Jeanette Mina Kaleikau-Buxton

Photo of Jeanette Kaleikau-Buxton in Alaska, wearing her Stanford graduation stole

Jeanette Mina Kaleikau-Buxton,

As an undergrad, finding community at the GSE

When you come from a town of 1,500 people on a remote island off the coast of Alaska, community is everything. So it’s one measure of success that Jeanette Kaleikau-Buxton, an undergraduate senior minoring in education, has a new community to treasure: the one she found at Stanford.

“Rural Alaska is such a different environment than Stanford; in some ways I’m still dealing with those differences,” Kaleikau-Buxton says. But the like-minded people she has met through the Haas Center for Public Service and at the GSE nourished her.

Kaleikau-Buxton began working with 3- to 5-year-olds in the Preschool Counts program as a freshman and for the past three years has stepped up to handle administrative duties and offer peer support to tutors. “I love working with kids, especially that age, because you see them advance so much, even in a short time.”

Her GSE coursework provided fresh energy for pursuing her dream of returning home to educate others. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher,” she says, inspired in part by her mother’s passion for children and education. Kaleikau-Buxton will be the first in her family to earn a college degree when she graduates in June 2021. She notes that her mom is now a full-time student at a tribal college in Alaska. “So she will be the second generation.”

April 29, 2021

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