Students hike toward the sunset in Yosemite National Park

Armstrong Scholars

Be an Armstrong Scholar
Location icon Created with Sketch.
Age_icon Created with Sketch.
Group 31 Created with Sketch.
cost icon Created with Sketch.

The Armstrong Scholars program seeks to inspire young women to reach their highest potential, develop a stronger sense of self and explore their personal connection to nature during a 12-day backpacking adventure in Yosemite's High Sierra. Participants venture into the backcountry with highly skilled female educators for an expedition of discovery, leadership and personal challenge.

This program is inspired by and in memory of former NatureBridge environmental science educator Joie Armstrong.

We're sorry to share that the 2020 expedition of the Armstrong Scholars is cancelled due to the impacts and uncertainty of COVID-19. Thank you for your applications and we hope to adventure with you next year!

The Armstrong Scholars at the top of Burro Pass in Yosemite
icon Created with Sketch.
How to


Thirteen young women will be chosen based on the strength of their applications and the recommendations of supportive educators and community leaders. Applications due by 8 a.m. on Friday, April 1, 2020.

Apply online or submit the below application materials to

cost icon Created with Sketch.

Program Fees

Through the generosity of donors, we are able to offer this program for a fee of $150 per participant. The remaining program cost of $2,400 per scholar is supported by donations given in honor of Joie Armstrong's life and legacy.

The Armstrong Scholars stand hand-in-hand looking at the Yosemite wilderness.
20 years of

Armstrong Scholars

mountain_generic_icon Created with Sketch.

Joie Armstrong

Joie was a bright light to all who knew her. She was full of laughter and love, creativity and spunk; she gifted the world with her glowing smile and warm heart. We will remember her as a young woman who had a tremendous enthusiasm for life and a deep desire to give of herself for the betterment of the world around her.

As Joie once said, "My passion lies with teaching children about their environment, and I have dedicated all of my efforts toward it." That passion for teaching and her creative spirit inspired this powerful program.

Don’t sip, gulp. And be at peace with yourself, there’s no better way to live life. This journey has been life-changing. I am thankful for what I have, and I thank Joie’s spirit for this wonderful opportunity.
Katrina, 2006 Armstrong Scholar
map icon Created with Sketch.

Contact Us

Kim Laizer
Education Manager, Yosemite

t: 209-372-9302 ext. 23
f: 209-379-9510

PO Box 194
El Portal, CA 95318

Honor Joie Armstrong's Legacy