Make a Difference for Youth Through Our MAP Scholarship Fund

This #GivingTuesday, we are asking our community to donate to the Mountaineers Access Program (MAP) scholarship fund.
Becca Polglase Becca Polglase
Education Director
November 27, 2018

The Mountaineers relies on the generosity of our community to provide courses and programs that make a difference in so many lives. Last year, donors gave $65,000 in scholarships that made it possible for 492 youth and 54 adults to experience the wonders of the great outdoors - many for the first time. We have set a goal to raise $20,000 to specifically support The Mountaineers Access Program (MAP) by the end of the year, and this #GivingTuesday all donations will go directly to support MAP scholarships, because everyone should have access to the outdoors. 

On this global day of giving, we are asking for your support so The Mountaineers can continue to bring equity to outdoor education through our programs and courses.

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Week after week, I’ve witnessed stories of inspiration, perseverance, and friendships that come from youth in Mountaineers programs. More recently, I’ve gotten to know a pair of sisters who attended our camps on scholarship made possible by the generosity of Mountaineers donors. I’ve watched the girls overcome fears, build new friendships, and teach their younger friends the skills they’ve learned.

This year, as the girls entered their pre-teen years, they joined ten other campers to experience their first over-night trip to Cougar Rock. On the Paradise Glacier, they learned how to hold and use an ice axe for the first time, practice self-arrest in the snow, and communicate as part of a team. Their day ended with an opportunity to glissade down the slope. It’s been fun to watch these girls grow into confident young women, and I have to believe their time in the outdoors has played a role in it.

Youth in Mountaineers programs have a wide variety of life and family experiences, and many of our scholarship recipients have experienced homelessness or live in transitional and emergency shelters. For many of us, getting to our outdoor sanctuaries is just a typical weekend, but for others it can feel overwhelming and expensive. Supporting a family is hard, and many parents don’t have the luxury of helping their kids experience our wild places. I constantly worry if we’re doing enough to reduce financial barriers and provide access to the outdoors for the kids in our communities.

To address this need, we have set up The Mountaineers Access Program (MAP) to provide scholarships for those who cannot otherwise afford to participate in Mountaineers Programs. The MAP Scholarship Fund not only supports young people like the sisters in the story above, but also provides assistance to adults who want to learn to hike, paddle, ski, and more, but lack the means to do so. 

Through my Mountaineers experiences, I have grown in ways I never expected, thanks to the mentorship of our incredible volunteers and relationships I’ve built in the outdoors. When I see this impact on our newest Mountaineers, it inspires me to renew my commitment by giving back.  Would you join me in donating today to help us reach our goal?

Thank you in advance for your support.  

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