Scholarship to US parks

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Rasheeka Usman and Emily Oakes.
Camera IconRasheeka Usman and Emily Oakes. Credit: South Western Times

Alcoa has officially opened nominations for this year’s NatureBridge scholarship, an all expenses-paid science expedition in one of two national parks in America.

The scholarship is aimed at high school students aged between 16 and 18. Five students from the South West attended in 2018, joining 50 others from around the world for two weeks of backpacking and hands-on science.

For 2019, the program has been expanded from 55 to 63 places with scholarship winners visiting Yosemite National Park in California or Olympic National Park in Washington.

“The expedition taught me a lot about myself and the environment,” 2018 participant Emily Oakes said.

“It encouraged me to be more confident and show more leadership, to try to meet more people and to build new relationships.

“Seeing the breathtaking views of national parks like Olympic, motivates me even more to want to preserve this beautiful natural environment for others to enjoy and relax in, just as I did.”

Alcoa of Australia managing director Michael Parker said programs such as NatureBridge built the next generation’s sustainability ambassadors, with the scholarship expeditions aimed at inspiring and empowering high school students to become long-term environmental stewards.

Fifty-seven of the 288 scholarships awarded by the Alcoa Foundation to date have been awarded to WA students.

Applications for the 2019 expedition close on March 4.

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