Derby scholarships go to Southeast seniors with a passion for outdoors

Posted: Saturday, August 01, 2009

Every year the Territorial Sportsmen, Inc. gives away multiple scholarships to graduating seniors. This year $12,000 each was awarded to Juneau-Douglas High School seniors Logan Balstad, Kevin Craig and Trevor Larsen.

"Territorial Sportsmen is an organization of hunters, sportfisherman and trappers and they award their scholarship to people of a like mind," said Brita Shaw, treasurer for the Scholarship Foundation. "We are looking for people who are consumptive users of outdoor resources ... We want people who hunt and trap and visit the outdoor cabins."

Political and community involvement, volunteer participation in Territorial Sportsmen gun safety programs and other hunting programs, and helping younger kids become users of the outdoors also are important in evaluating applicants. Volunteering with the Golden North Salmon Derby and being a member of Territorial Sportsmen also helps.

Logan Balstad plans to begin his freshman year at the University of Alaska Southeast. From there he plans to attend the University of Alaska in Fairbanks or the University of Minnesota and major in engineering.

"He was really active in other organizations helping youth enjoy the outdoors," Shaw said.

Kevin Craig wants to attend Boise State in Idaho and also plans to major in engineering. Craig was involved with soccer at JDHS, was part of a team of students who won a national architecture competition and was on the Honor Roll.

Trevor Larsen plans to start at UAS and then go to Montana State and get a Bachelor of Arts. Larsen recently became an Eagle Scout and while in high school was president of JDHS's Alpine Club.

Territorial Sportsmen has been giving out scholarships since 1953. The scholarships vary in amount and number of recipients from year to year. Money is awarded to vocational and technical school students and graduate school students, as well as traditional undergraduates.

Shaw explains that for the technical and vocational scholarships Territorial Sportsmen is looking for people who are going to return and contribute to the community.

This year, Territorial Sportsmen gave technical school scholarships to JDHS senior Chad Wilson who received $500 to attend an intense automotive course at WYO Tech in Sacramento, Calif. He hopes to become a certified automotive and powertrain technician. Wrangell seniors and cousins Stephen Gile, Jr. and Daniel Powell were awarded $1,500 each to attend UAS.

Money for the scholarships comes from sales of the salmon caught and donated during the Golden North Salmon Derby. To date, the organization has given out 233 scholarships amounting to more than $1,324,000.

All students in the Juneau area are eligible for the four-year scholarship. The two-year scholarship is open to all students in the Southeast Alaska.

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