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We are excited to announce 2021’s winners of the USA Climbing Collegiate Ambassador Scholarship!
First Place: Alexandra Kiefus – Tufts University
For Alexandra, climbing provides stress relief and a form of self-care while in college, but more than that, it also provides a community. The community at Central Rock Gym in Cambridge and the Tufts Climbing Team has inspired Alexandra to help grow collegiate climbing. Alexandra and her teammates at Tufts are working to facilitate diversity, equity and inclusion by partnering with Harvard to host speaker events, roundtable discussion and host free climb nights to expose more people to the sport of climbing.
Second Place: Michael Finn-Henry – Vanderbilt University
Climbing has affected every part of Michael’s experience at Vanderbilt University. As President of the Vanderbilt Climbing Team, Michael has helped to recruit new climbers to his team and continue to grow the climbing community at Vanderbilt. During COVID, Michael and the Vanderbilt Climbing team have raised money to support their local gym, the Vanderbilt children’s hospital, mental health awareness and to create scholarships for two of his team members.
Third Place: Leila DeSchepper – Stanford University
Leila serves as a Student Representative for USA Climbing in the West Coast Division. As a freshman in 2020-21, the beginning of her collegiate experience has been almost entirely virtual. However, she has been able to find and foster a community not only virtually but by climbing outdoors with climbers from other universities in California. True to her passion for bringing new members to the Stanford climbing gym, Leila loves to help people fall in love with the sport of climbing.
From an exceptional pool of candidates, these three were chosen for their dedication to climbing and exemplifying what it means to be a climber, a student-athlete, and ambassador for the sport.
The Collegiate Climbing Ambassador Scholarship is an opportunity for students involved in competitive climbing at the collegiate level to demonstrate how they have become an ambassador for the sport through their involvement in both climbing and academics. Each year USA Climbing awards $3,000 in scholarships.
Details about the application process and selection criteria can be found here.
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