Mao Tosi

AK story:  Credits his high school basketball coach for saving his life and “keeping me on the right track.” That track led to a college basketball scholarship, a defensive line position with the University of Idaho Vandals and two seasons of pro football with the Arizona Cardinals.  

Pay it forward: In addition to his day job as manager at the Northway Mall/owner at Big Tosi Management Company, he founded AK PRIDE (People Representing Integrity and Diverse Experiences) in 2005 to help connect at-risk youth with mentors. “A coach saved my life and so it is my responsibility to do the same.”

Pride tour: AK PRIDE travels to rural villages to share examples of how other Alaskan students stayed motivated while facing issues like suicide, depression and substance abuse. “We want to make sure all Alaska youth have an outlet, an opportunity to develop their voice and find value and confidence within.”

Whether you were born and raised in Alaska or just have the Alaska born and raised spirit, we want to hear from you.