The Kenai River Sportfishing Association recently announced the establishment of two scholarship programs aimed providing full-tuition scholarships for students pursuing studies in biology, fisheries management and other conservation-related fields.
The purpose of the program is to honor Sen. Ted Stevens, his legacy of conservation efforts in Alaska and his love of sportfishing, particularly for king salmon on the Kenai River.
The Ted Stevens Kenai River Sportfishing Association Scholarship Program annually will award seven full-tuition scholarships to students. There are three scholarship categories:
Two annual tuition scholarships will be awarded to students attending or planning to attend KPC. These students must be pursuing an associate of arts or associate of applied science degree with intentions of either going onto a four-year degree program or seeking an entry level-technician job in fisheries or natural resources.
Four annual tuition scholarships will be awarded to students with more than 60 college credits (sophomore or junior standing in the year of application) pursuing bachelor of science degrees at any University of Alaska campus.
One annual tuition scholarship will be awarded to students pursuing master's or doctoral degrees at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, University of Alaska Anchorage or University of Alaska Southeast.
KRSA will fund these programs at a total of $26,000 the first year. Sub-sequent funding will be assessed annually by the KRSA board and will be increased based upon University of Alaska tuition increases.
A unique aspect of this program is that scholarship award recipients agree to volunteer the summer of scholarship notification to assist with the Kenai River Classic in July for the three-day fishing event. Per diem, lodging and airfare from within the state of Alaska (if needed) will be paid by KRSA.
"We felt it was important for these students to attend the Classic so they become better acquainted with our organization," said Ron Rainey, KRSA board president. "This will also give these students an opportunity to meet Sen. Stevens and receive the award from him personally at the banquet."
A Ted Stevens "Caring for the Kenai" scholarship program also was established to provide four $500 scholarships to area high school students who do projects specifically aimed at Kenai River watershed issues. Students receiving these awards will be able to utilize the scholarship for tuition costs at any accredited college or university.
"KRSA is really pleased to be able to help students financially through these scholarships," said Ricky Gease, newly appointed executive director. "We have a strong relationship with the 'Caring for the Kenai' program and wanted to increase our support for these students who work so hard on their projects."
A brochure has been distributed to high school counselors, University of Alaska financial aid offices and at KRSA headquarters in Soldotna. The brochure and required forms are available online at www.kenairiversportfishing.org/
KRSA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership-based educational and conservation organization of sport anglers, conservationists and others whose primary goal is preservation and improvement of salmon habitat while promoting responsible sportfishing on the Kenai River. The association works as a liaison between the association's members and the Alaska Board of Fisheries, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska State Parks, the Kenai River Special Management Area Board, the state Legislature, local governments, federal agencies and numerous other organizations.
For more information about this and many other college scholarships, contact the KPC financial aid office at 262-0332.
The world premier of Alaska videographer Paul Gray's documentary, "Ggugguyni, Kenaitze Native Youth Olympic Team," will be shown at 3 p.m. Sunday in room 132 at KPC. This film explores the personal achievements of the participants in the Native Youth Olympics and how their cultural background relates to the games. After the film, Gray, producer of "Exploring Alaska," will talk about the making of the documentary and about video production in general.
This event is free to the public and would not be possible without the support of the Anna Fossett Goodrich program of the Damon Memorial Fund.
This column is provided by Suzie Kendrick, community relations coordinator at Kenai Peninsula College.
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