49 Voices: Clare Baldwin of Anchorage

Clare Baldwin, USUAA vice president at the University of Alaska Anchorage. (Photo by Wesley Early / Alaska Public Media)

This week we’re hearing from Claire Baldwin in Anchorage. Baldwin currently serves as the Student Body Vice President at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Listen now

BALDWIN: I never even saw myself being a part of…I was kind of shy, a little nervous, and didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my position, so I joined last year as a Senator. And then when we had a little bit of shuffling around with leadership positions, I was asked to move up to be the vice president.

Yea, some of it’s very boring work but I really enjoy the people. So even though some of the things we’re doing are very minute, and sometimes it feels like we are making just very small differences, being with the people and enjoying the atmosphere and the environment here is what really keeps bringing me back.

So when people ask if I am born and raised in Alaska, I feel bad saying yes, because it’s not true. But to me, Alaska’s all I remember, so to me, I was basically was born in Alaska.

I was born in Oklahoma City, my dad was in the military, and when it came time for him to switch locations, Alaska popped up on the list, and him and my mom were like, ‘OK! Let’s take a chance on Alaska.’ So we drove up here on the ALCAN, me and my brother, and they moved here, we lived on base, in Chugiak as well, and they loved it here, so I’ve been here ever since.

I always feel very home in Alaska — the type of people that when you’re in a ditch and it’s 7 o’clock at night, they pull up, no questions asked, they pull you out of a ditch (it’s actually happened to me, random stranger). They help you out, even when they don’t even know your name; don’t ask anything in return.

I decided to stay in Alaska mainly for the cost of college; I do plan on going to graduate school and that was kind of on my mind. I think I’ll come back to Alaska. I didn’t always love Alaska, but the longer I’ve stayed here, I’ve learned to love it even more.

I’m thinking of after I graduate, either going in the direction of data analysis or public policy. I imagine myself sometime hopefully working in government. Not being the politician myself, but being the person behind the politician — the one who really makes all the decisions.”

Wesley Early covers Anchorage life and city politics for Alaska Public Media. Reach him at wearly@alaskapublic.org and follow him on X at @wesley_early. Read more about Wesley here.

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