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Feb 28 2020

Enter MWA’s College Scholarship Essay Contest

$500 scholarships available to students in Lincoln, Lake, Flathead, and Sanders counties

Not long ago, I was a broke Ph.D. with no plan for my future, hiking out of the Bob Marshall Wilderness where I'd spent 98 days as a fire lookout. I did have a dream to teach again, though, and to support others with the same penchant for getting into wilderness and being free.

Through a series of fortunate events, I wound up with a best friend named Amy Robinson who was then a field director for Montana Wilderness Association. And you know how friendship works…I got involved, too.

Now some of my nearest and dearest friends on MWA’s Flathead-Kootenai Chapter board have developed a growing scholarship fund specifically for students who feel a deep connection to Montana’s public lands and wild places. Since 2016, we’ve awarded more than $13,800 in scholarships to high school students in Lincoln, Sanders, Lake, and Flathead Counties to help them continue their education at Flathead Valley Community College and Salish Kootenai College. This year, we’re offering 12 scholarships worth $500 apiece. To apply, students are required to write an essay demonstrating their love of and commitment to public lands.  

The photo featured above warms my heart for so many reasons. This photo was taken at one of our chapter’s Wilderness Speaker Series events. Pictured to the right is my board colleague John Repke, who was the Flathead-Kootenai Chapter Board president when I joined MWA years ago. That night he had the opportunity to meet one of our scholarship winners, Ryan Christensen of Libby, for the first time. Making the moment even more special, Ryan happens to be one of my students at Flathead Valley Community College.

It's pretty cool when your own future directly intertwines with the future of others. But hey, I guess that's always the case. Life is pretty cool.

Since 2016, our scholarship program has helped 25 students from northwest Montana communities pay for their college tuition. I encourage you to support even more students next year by making a donation to the scholarship fund. Email me for more information.

About the 2020 College Scholarship Essay Contest

MWA's Flathead-Kootenai Chapter is proud to offer six $500 college scholarships to two students each in Flathead, Sanders, Lincoln and Lake Counties who outstandingly demonstrate their love of and commitment to public lands via short essay, poetry, story, or any other written form. 

The award winners will be determined by MWA’s Flathead-Kootenai Chapter Board of Directors. 

*All scholarship applicants must be planning to attend Flathead Valley Community College or Salish Kootenai College.

Applications are due Friday, April 17, 2020.

Download the Application

Please email me with any questions and good luck!

- Amy Pearson, MWA Flathead-Kootenai Chapter president