JACKSON HOLE, WYO – The Jackson Hole Babe Force (JHBF), a nonprofit empowering women to seek adventure in the mountains, is excited to announce the launch of the 2018-19 scholarship program.
The JHBF launched its scholarship program in 2015 to provide women with financial assistance and encouragement to participate in education and training that will help them become smarter, stronger, and more confident in the mountains.
In its first year, the scholarship program provided funding for two local women to attend Avalanche Level 1 courses. The second round of scholarships grew significantly, and the JHBF awarded funding to 10 women in total: six local women attended Level One Avalanche courses, two local women attended Level Two Avalanche courses, and two Wyoming-based women attended the women’s Elevate ski camp at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
Last year the JHBF expanded the program further and awarded scholarships in four categories, offering a total of 20 individual scholarships. The 2018-2019 JHBF scholarship program will offer the highest number of scholarships awarded in the program’s four-year history with the potential for up to 28 female scholarship recipients.
“We are excited about the continued growth of the Jackson Hole Babe Force, and specifically about the success of the scholarship fund,” said Sarah Felton, current board member one of the original founders of the JHBF. “When we first started this group, our goal was to get women out skiing together—pushing our personal limits and having fun together. The fact that we’ve been able to leverage the incredible support of the community into a tangible program that is having such a positive impact on the women in this town, and state, is so rewarding and so much more than we ever thought we could do.”
2018-19 scholarship categories
- Progression Session I: Up to 24 women will be awarded scholarships to attend a women’s-only Level 1 Avalanche education course (two different course dates will be available) with the American Avalanche Institute.
- Progression Session II: One woman will be awarded a scholarship to attend an avalanche education course of the recipient’s choosing. This scholarship is for women who have completed
- their Avy 1 certification and want an opportunity to learn critical mountain safety and advance their snow-travel knowledge to the next level, for personal or professional reasons.
- Facing Your Fears: One woman will be awarded a scholarship to attend the Elevate women’s ski camp at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on January 14-18, 2019. This scholarship includes rental skis, lift tickets, and four days of world-class instruction designed to take intermediate-to-advanced ski skills to the next level.
- Babe Scholarship: One “Jr. Babe,” age 9 to 18, will be awarded a scholarship to attend a five-day summer ski racing camp hosted by Keely’s Camp for Girls in the summer of 2019 in Mt. Hood, Oregon.
- Greater than Sum: This “Choose Your Own Adventure” scholarship is presented in partnership with Greater Than Sum, a video series about a group of Jackson-based skiers using the power of teamwork and friendship to accomplish their big-mountain dreams. The Choose Your Own Adventure scholarship could fund anything from competition costs, dream trip expenses, or creative women-specific adventures.
Studies have shown that an all-female environment is more conducive to learning because, without the presence of males, women are more willing to ask for help, more confident, more focused, and less afraid to try new things.
Elizabeth Peltz, a 2017-2018 Progression Session I recipient, had this to say about her all-women Level I avalanche course: “I am so unbelievably grateful for the opportunity to take a Level 1 Avalanche Course. I came away from the experience with an arsenal of knowledge and a new set of resources. I also came away with new friends and new ski partners; and I am a safer, stronger team member to those I ski with in the backcountry. But on another level, I faced and overcame some of my own self-doubt and as a result, I also came away better able to embody my true self.”
Funds for the JHBF scholarship program are raised through donations accepted during the organization’s year-round programming, with the majority of funds raised at the annual spring fundraiser. For the past three years, JHBF has held a Kentucky Derby Spring Fling that raises money through ticket sales, raffle, and a silent auction, 100% of which goes to the Scholarship Fund. In the spring of 2018, JHBF raised just over $15,000 to provide financial assistance to women who are hoping to acquire avalanche and snow safety education, to gain confidence and skills on the ski hill through attending women’s ski or junior girl’s race camps, or to offset costs associated with adventure travel.
For more information about scholarships and to apply, interested applicants can visit the website. Women of all ages and abilities are encouraged to apply. The application deadline is November 26, 2018. Applications will be reviewed anonymously by the JHBF board and winners will be announced at a winter kickoff and announcement party on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at Jackson Hole Still Works.
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