31st African-American Leadership Conference Begins At Pioneer Park

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Over a hundred Middle School students attended the African American Student Leadership Conference on Monday, and were able to hear from several speakers - including an engineering professional who encouraged their young minds to get interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics - otherwise known as 'STEM'.

This is the 31st year of the AASLC, and this year's conference theme was 'Imagining Your Future.'

Organizers flew in keynote speaker, Maurice Dukes, to talk with students about getting interested in 'STEM' careers.
Dukes currently resides in Denver Colorado where he works as a petroleum engineer.

In his speech today, Dukes talked with students about not only being able to do anything they put their mind to, but also how to brainstorm getting to the point of achieving their goals.

Dukes says he was mentored as a youth to stay on the right track, and hopes he can do the same for others.

"I was able to be motivated as a youth, as a middle-schooler and high-schooler, and hearing other people who were successful, who had went down a certain path, I thought it was great to be able to give back. I've never been to Fairbanks before, this was an opportunity to come speak to some kids and really make an impact."