THE COAC ALEX VINCENT KOLLAR MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP supports Pacific Northwest backcountry skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and snowshoers in furthering their avalanche education and building life saving skills in their pursuit of mountain adventures. Many of us have struggled to finance the necessary training and education to help save our own lives and the lives of others in backcountry snow adventures. Our goal is to help you get the training and education needed to travel safely in the backcountry.
This year, in honor of Alex Kollar, a local rider loved by many, the scholarship selection committee will be focusing on applicants who exhibit these qualities and commitments:
- Reverence for the Natural World and a commitment to protect it
- Service to Others in one’s community, be that global, regional, local, or your backcountry crew
- A Zest for Learning and creative expression of this eagerness to educate oneself and others
- Unquenchable Stoke and Passion for mountain adventures
Central Oregon Avalanche Center (COAC) is a non-profit avalanche forecasting center working to meet the demands of our growing backcountry community. As backcountry use in the mountains of Central Oregon continues to grow the public needs accurate and useful weather, snowpack, and avalanche information. COAC is meeting this need with –
- Community avalanche education events.
- Online distribution of relevant mountain snow and weather data with professional observations seven days a week.
- Coordination with national and regional avalanche and weather entities that help identify operational shortfalls and associated enhancements to bolster and improve forecasting.
- Provide funding to assist in purchase of relevant equipment and materials identified as best benefit to the general public.
- Organizing local for-profit entities to best serve the local community.
The scholarship will be for tuition reimbursement for up to $500 toward avalanche education training from a certified course*. The recipient must take their course in the same season, or following season, as the scholarship reward. Please submit applications by December 1st and we will select and notify the scholarship recipient before January 1, 2023. The recipient will then have until the end of next season to complete their course. We will “write the check” to the organization supplying the course or we can also write a reimbursement check to you with certificate of course completion. The scholarship funds can only go toward avalanche course tuition, not toward travel or any other coursework expenses. Scholarship is not a guarantee of admittance or successful completion/certification of your course.
- Your CV, including any previous outdoor education, courses, outdoor industry employment, certifications, and volunteer positions.
- Three references of your choice, can be professional, outdoor partners, educators, or volunteer organizers.
- A personal statement (500+ word essay) that addresses the qualities and commitments listed above. Tell us what in your personal journey is leading to avalanche training, what you plan to do going forward with your new training, and some creative expression of your connection to the outdoors.
- Tell us how you plan to Give Back to your community. With these new skills you have the opportunity to help others enjoy the mountains more safely and we’d like to hear or see how you do that.
*Applications must be for an American Avalanche Association approved course, including AIARE, COCC courses, or other equivalent.
If you are interested in supporting the Alex Kollar Memorial Scholarship please reach out to David Gaines at email@example.com.