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Thursday, May 16,2013

Women’s Wilderness girls program scholarships open

By Elizabeth Miller
Photo courtesy of the Women's Wilderness Institute
Climbing safety check at the Latina Girls Adventure Days

Scholarship applications are currently being taken for the Women’s Wilderness Institute girls’ programs. The Institute offers four- to 14-day trips for girls beginning at age 9. Their classes allow girls to try out backpacking, rock climbing and hiking a peak, or delve into a committing trip, like an eight-day backpacking expedition. Courses are also offered that pair art and the outdoors, bring a parent or adult mentor along to learn outdoor skills with girls, and bring Latina girls out to have outdoor experiences on day trips led by Latina women.

“What I love about the program is how it positively changes girls’ lives, teaching them real-world leadership and communication skills using a model designed especially to meet girls’ needs,” Shari Leach, the executive director of the institute, said in a press release.

Full and partial scholarships are available, based on family income level. In 16 years the program has been running, it has not yet turned away a girl who wanted to attend due to financial need. Last year, it awarded $30,000 in scholarships, 94 percent of which went to Colorado residents, according to the institute.

“The Women’s Wilderness Institute has taught me to trust myself in what I do and who I am through rock climbing,” a 2012 participant told the institute.

The first programs start in mid-June and run through the end of August.

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