July 02, 2018

Environmental scholars ready for trip of lifetime


Stories of amazing scenery, life-long friendships and smelly socks were shared when past and future scholars of the international NatureBridge program came together in Pinjarra recently.

Naturebridge recipients
Local scholars celebrate ahead of embarking on international environmental expeditions funded by the Alcoa Foundation.

Alcoa of Australia hosted the 16 local scholars selected to take part in this year’s international expeditions to Yosemite National Park and Shenandoah National Park, in the United States. A total of 55 students have been selected from across the globe for the July and August expeditions hosted by NatureBridge and funded by the Alcoa Foundation.

The 16 to 18-year-old students from the Kwinana, Peel and South West areas and their families came together with Alcoa representatives for an American-themed meal and to share questions and trepidations.

They heard from previous local scholars, including former Mandurah Catholic College student Holly Snell, about how the challenges they would encounter would be outweighed by the benefits, despite having to pack all items into bear cannisters so the animals could not pick up their scent.

Alcoa Corporate Affairs Manager Suellen Jerrard said it was a worthwhile evening for all involved.

“The event was a great opportunity for scholars and their parents to pick the brains of others who have been on a NatureBridge expedition or who have had children head-off on this great overseas adventure,” Suellen said. “You could see their nerves and apprehensions being replaced with real excitement.

“It was also a great opportunity for the scholars to meet up prior to heading away to make memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.”

The NatureBridge expeditions brings together like-minded high school students from around the globe to learn how their actions impact their community and the world around them.

A total of 288 scholarships have been awarded by the Alcoa Foundation since the inaugural NatureBridge expedition in 2014, 57 of them benefiting students from Western Australia. The scholarships cover the cost of airfares, visas and the full two-week program.

 

Media contact: Cheri Hodgson, 9557 4163, cheri.hodgson@alcoa.com.au