Since its start in 2006, Teens to Trails has honored the life of 15-year old Sara Leone. This year the nonprofit organization is providing programming, gear and financial support to 82 middle and high school outdoor clubs and their teenage students. Sara’s Scholarship is an annual award that covers the cost of an immersive summer outdoor experience for a Maine high school sophomore. The scholarship is designed to spark personal growth and inspiration in the natural world. This year, recipients can choose from backpacking and paddling excursions from two of Maine’s leading adventure programs — Chewonki and Rippleffect.
Daughter of Teens to Trails founders Carol and Bob Leone, Sara loved the outdoors. Her experiences exploring nature led to a remarkable self-confidence that positively impacted her socially and academically. When her life tragically ended in a car accident at age 15, her friends and family created Sara’s Scholarship in hopes of inspiring more young people to explore the natural beauty of Maine. Originally geared toward students in the Wiscasset area where Sara Leone attended high school, the scholarship is now open to sophomores throughout the state.
Teens to Trails Executive Director Alicia Heyburn says, “Sara’s Scholarship provides an incredible opportunity for a 10th grader to get deep into Maine’s wilderness doing something that will their lives forever, like hiking a section of the Appalachian Trail, or camping on a Maine island during a sea kayaking expedition. We’re so grateful to Chewonki and Ripplevfect for the incredible adventure opportunities they are offering our students this year.”
Sara’s Scholarship is awarded annually to sophomores who are members of their school’s outdoor club. Applications are due by Feb. 28, and winners will be announced in March. For details on how to apply, visit http://www.teenstotrails.org/saras-scholarship.
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