Former professional basketball player and Hydaburg local, Damen Bell-Holter, is teaming up with Sealaska to strengthen and expand our community engagement work with youth and young adults.
Damen is now Sealaska's new Director of Community and Youth Programming. The program will focus on helping young people in Southeast Alaska communities gain leadership and career-planning skills.
Damen grew up in Hydaburg playing high school basketball at Mt. Edgecumbe, going on to play Division One college basketball and professionally in the U.S. and Europe. Since leaving basketball, Damen has pursued his passion of giving back to his community, serving as a role model for kids, inspiring them to realize their full potential and reach for a brighter future. Damen has built a following with Sealaska youth, already working with Sealaska Heritage Institute, SEARHC and Tlingit & Haida interacting with kids through school visits and his basketball camps.
“We are building a shareholder development program that aims to foster motivation and instill leadership skills in our youth,” said Sealaska CEO Anthony Mallott. “Qualities like leadership, discipline and self-respect help build a young person’s capacity for a fulfilling future. Using his own story, Damen can encourage and inspire kids to set goals and plan for a career.”
Damen said, “I’m excited to be on board with Sealaska and am extremely grateful to be able to work within a corporation that works with our people. I look forward to uplifting our youth and having a hand in our communities.”
Damen’s proven ability to get across important topics that resonate with our youth will be an asset to Sealaska’s community engagement efforts. Sealaska constantly looks for the next generation of leaders in our communities and companies. Uplifting our youth and young shareholders is one way to ensure a strong future for Sealaska.
Damen is Haida, Eagle and part of the Kaachaa Dii clan. His Haida name is Nang Gaahlaang Stangs, which means “big enough to hold two souls.”
Damen returns to his hometown of Hydaburg to host a basketball camp April 22-23.
Follow Sealaska on Facebook and check back at Sealaska.com for updated information on events and activities Damen hosts.