June 13, 2016

NatureBridge and Alcoa Foundation Announce the 2016 Alcoa Scholars Program

San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2016)—NatureBridge is proud to announce the award of scholarship funding from the Alcoa Foundation. This grant will fund the participation of one hundred high schools students in the 2016 NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars programs in Yosemite, Olympic, and Shenandoah National Park. 
Inspired by the National Park Service’s 21st century goals to prioritize education and increase international engagement, the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program will enable young leaders from Alcoa communities in 13 different countries to experience diverse cultures, immerse themselves in nature, and develop environmental literacy. The partnership program, now in its third year, has almost doubled its capacity from the prior year to allow one hundred teens to participate during the 100th year of the National Park Service. The 2016 Alcoa Scholars will participate in an 11-day summer program immersed in the wonder and science of national parks while building connections with the environment and each other. 
“We are thrilled to be offering the NatureBridge Alcoa Scholarship opportunity to 100 additional dynamic youths from Alcoa communities around the globe this year, especially to celebrate this special time in the National Parks Service’s history,” said Alice Truscott, Program Manager, Alcoa Foundation. “The response from our first two years of the program has been amazing and has shown that young people are hungry for opportunities to educate themselves on environmental stewardship. The time to build the next generation of sustainability ambassadors is now, and Alcoa Foundation believes the experience of being immersed in nature while studying science will have a long-term impact on these students.”  
The NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars program educates, inspires, and empowers high school students to become long-term environmental stewards with strong connections to their national park and the natural world. The Scholars participate in multi-night backcountry expeditions, discuss global environmental issues, and execute a scientific research project unique to the park. The NatureBridge Alcoa Scholars will complete their journey with a stewardship project, designed to give back to the national park. 
“The Alcoa Foundation and NatureBridge are ideal partners for this deeply immersive and impactful Alcoa Scholars program. Our hands-on environmental science program will connect students from Alcoa communities all over the globe to the natural world; it will inspire personal connections and responsible actions to sustain it,” said Phillip Kilbridge, President & CEO, NatureBridge. “These Scholars are the consumers, voters, and leaders of tomorrow. By equipping them with the correct tools and providing life-changing experiences in the natural world, they will be inspired to protect our national parks in the second century, and make the world a better place.” 
Founded in 1971, NatureBridge connects students to the wonder and science of nature and inspires the environmental stewards of tomorrow. As the largest residential education partner of the National Park Service, the organization serves more than 30,000 students each year and offers programs in six national parks: Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Olympic National Park, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Channel Islands National Park and Prince William Forest Park. For more information, visit www.naturebridge.org.