Kids volunteer to earn scholarships

On behalf of HoWL and all the students who volunteered in order to earn scholarships for their expeditions this summer, I would like to thank the Rotary Club of Homer Downtown and the Rotary District 5010 Grants Committee for their grant that funded $2000 of additional scholarships, awarded mid-summer to our local youth.

Fifty students earned Volunteer Merit Scholarships thanks in part to this grant. Forty-one of those students had not had the opportunity to participate in HoWL’s Clean-Up Week in April. With the additional funding available, HoWL was able to award scholarships to a total of 75 students in 2013, to more than 30 percent of our local participants. 

Building upon the success of 2013, next year’s Volunteer Merit Scholarships program will be even better. HoWL’s vision is to have a community-funded program through which kids volunteer for HoWL and other organizations doing work outdoors once or twice a week in exchange for their HoWL Day Trips and Expeditions. 

In 2013, we were able to expect award recipients to volunteer for HoWL, but by summer 2014, we should be able to implement a much richer web of service throughout Homer and the lower Kenai Peninsula. 

This program, with the generous support of the Rotary Club of Homer Downtown and the Rotary District 5010 Grants Committee, imparts a spirit of service to our students through rewarding their hard work in our community with the experience of wilderness and camaraderie within HoWL’s programs, and through knowing that they have earned that opportunity themselves. Thanks again to the Rotary Club of Homer Downtown for making this possible. 

If you have a volunteer opportunity that is based outside and would be appropriate for youth laborers, contact HoWL to become a partner in 2014.

Libby Veasey

HoWL executive and programs director