Thanks to a generous grant from Alcoa Foundation, the 2019 Alcoa Scholars explored alpine lakes and glacial lakes, enjoyed wildflowers and rock formations, and experienced wildlife ranging from bald eagles to bears. They slept under the stars, formed long-lasting friendships and for some, saw snow for the very first time. Most importantly, these Scholars emerged from the backcountry with a stronger connection to the natural world, increased environmental literacy and the confidence to make positive changes within their schools and communities back home.
Here are what some of our Scholars hope to accomplish in their communities upon their return:
“As I return home I will pass on my knowledge and understanding of the environment and what we can do as a community to make small changes to minimize our impact on climate change.”—Kate H.
“I just turned 18, so I hope to start making the most out of my vote and voice back home. I'm also considering making more personal changes, such as transitioning to a vegetarian diet and setting time limits on my showers.”—Philothei S.
“I am committed to supporting businesses that are serious about sustainability, as well as at home I will continue the smaller simple tasks. On a bigger scale I am prepared to share with other young people the small things that they can do, or even bigger things, and help them realise that their age does not determine their ability to achieve extraordinary things.”—Wil M.
“I think the strongest tool we have currently is education. It is important to continue to spread the work on how necessary and beautiful natural areas are to our world.”—Rosey W.
We are thrilled to watch these Alcoa Scholars grow as environmental stewards and look forward to their accomplishments in preserving biodiversity, mitigating climate change and teaching others about their impact.