North Central College - Naperville, IL

Eric Knox '09

Eric Knox is a program director through AmeriCorps Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA) for Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation in Alaska where he assists with Fairbanks First Think Local. The buy local program is designed to advocate for a 10 percent shift in consumer expenditure from outside the Fairbanks North Star Borough to within the borough. He has worked to increase community knowledge of the importance of buying local by creating member booklets, community directories, newsletters, website development, special events and social media campaigns. He has increased buy local program membership by more than 100 percent, resulting in some 70 active business members, more than 150 individual members and more than 40 discounts to several local businesses to encourage buying local. Regarding life in Alaska, Knox says, “A few weeks ago it was minus 40 F. Caught a nice break in weather but it’s heading into the deep cold again. The people here are friendly, the moose and bears are dangerous, the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) are breathtaking and hiking here is an amazing experience. I love meeting new people and working with different organizations. I'm thinking this shall be written as one of the top 10 greatest quests of my life. I recommend a visit to the northern parts of Alaska.” Previously, he worked for Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois as a financial education coordinator developing a financial literacy program known as Good Dollars and Sense.