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May 26, 2020 – The Sierra Nevada Group of the Sierra Club has selected two (2) Class of 2020 graduating High School seniors to receive scholarships toward college tuition in honor of their accomplishments, and their future goals toward the protection and restoration of the earth and its eco systems.

Austin Armstrong is a graduating Senior from Forest Charter High School. He is also an Assistant Instructor at 4Elements Earth Education providing leadership to peers and youngsters in appreciation of nature, and development of wilderness skills. To quote from his application essay “My vision is to connect people back with the earth and to help them understand and appreciate her so that she will be taken care of, for the more people who care about the earth, the more conscious they will be about her.” “This is how I imagine a vision, a life purpose or something that leads a person to their fullest capabilities. A vision oftentimes supports more than one person as well, and is something that is deep inside each person, and is what they are meant to do with their lives. In this way, when they follow their vision, they are taken care of and doorways open to opportunities.”

Kamis Monohan is a graduating Senior from Nevada Union High School. Among her many accomplishments, Kamis is the founder of the Nevada Union Rock Climbing Club. To quote from her application essay “I am utterly drawn to the field of science. It made my childhood and makes up all my dreams for the future. I can remember back, doing field work with my Mom, who is a Science Director for a non-profit [Carrie Monohan, Sierra Fund].” “Knowing all the problems with the places we lived near or traveled to, took some of its beauty away…I saw what miners call “yellow boy”, water with high turbidity, polluted with iron oxides coming from the mines up stream…with the small piece of knowledge I had about what was happening around me, I knew there were many more problems that I did not yet understand. I just knew there was more to know and somehow that continues to fascinate me, propelling me to pursue biology and a doctorate degree.”

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Austin Armstrong and Kamis Monohan have received accolades, and a memento, from the Sierra Nevada Group of the Sierra Club, along with their $1000 scholarships. The funds will go directly toward tuition at their chosen academic institution. Austin plans to attend Sierra Nevada College in Incline Village, NV. Kamis plans to attend Willamette University in Salem, OR.

Austin’s scholarship was made possible by the Thomas Walker Kerns Memorial Fund. Thomas Kerns was a relatively young man with a great love of and advocate for the natural world and wilderness. We find it fitting that this one time scholarship goes to Austin as he pursues a career in Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education.

Kamis received our annual scholarship. She will be studying Biology and pursuing a career in Environmental Conservation.

Austin and Kamis had been scheduled to do a public program for the Sierra Club assisting Matt Berry, Field Biologist for the US Forest Service and a Graduate Student at CSU Chico, Carrie Monohan, his Graduate Program Advisor. This program entitled “Beaver Dams and Native Elders: How to Restore a Meadow” was cancelled due to COVID19 Stay at Home public health order. Both Kamis and Austin have been involved in Matt’s Graduate research.