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ODA & ORR Announce New Outdoor Pathway Scholarship Program

The Outdoor Diversity Alliance (ODA) and Outdoor Recreation Roundtable’s (ORR) Together Outdoors (TO) initiative have partnered to launch a new program designed to connect students from underrepresented communities to outdoor and environmental professions.

The Outdoor Pathway Scholarship will provide students with $5000 in scholarship funding over two years, mentorship and assistance with job placement in the outdoor industry or environmental field. The scholarship application deadline is March 28.

Applicants should submit a 600- to 800-word essay or three- to five-minute video about their relationship with the outdoors, personal interests and goals, volunteer experience, and dream job. ODA and ORR will review scholarship applications in April and announce the winners in early May. After awardees are selected, each student will be paired with a leader from the industry who will provide coaching and mentorship for two years. Upon graduation, ORR and ODA will assist students with job placement.

Applicants must meet the following qualifications to be considered:

    • Student must be pursuing an education in the outdoor industry or environmental fields
    • Students must graduate in 2026. (Current sophomores in a four-year program, students starting a two-year program in the fall, and part-time students graduating in 2026 all qualify.)
    • Student must show a financial need, however detailed financial information not required
    • School must be located in the United States
    • Student is required to have a 2.0 minimum grade point average
    • School must be located in the United States
    • School can be in-person or online
    • Student can attend full-time or part-time

ODA and TO will award a minimum of $10,000 in scholarships in May. They hope to raise additional funding to increase the number of students they can support with scholarship funding. Companies or individuals interested in making a donation to the scholarship program should contact the Outdoor Diversity Alliance at outdoordiversityalliance@gmail.com.

“Together Outdoors is proud to support this new program for students from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in conservation and the outdoors,” said Ambreen Tariq, senior program director at Outdoor Recreation Roundtable and Together Outdoors Coalition Lead. “Outdoor recreation generates $1.1 trillion in economic output and supports nearly 5 million jobs. Creating more pathways to these meaningful careers for a new, diverse generation of young people will only make our industry more vibrant.”

“To make the environment and outdoors more inclusive, we need to invite representatives from a diverse workforce to have seats at the table,” said Lestarya Molloy, founder and CEO at Fridie Outdoors. “As a woman of color who studied environmental economics and policy at University of California Berkeley, I know first-hand this scholarship signals to students that they can solve issues they care about as a career,” said Molloy. “There are professions to increase access to parks and green spaces, improve air and water quality, design innovative new gear and technology to increase outdoor participation, and more. This program is an invitation and validation that students from underrepresented backgrounds with environmental studies are both wanted and needed to create lasting change.”

“The scholarship program is not only providing financial assistance to students, but also ensuring that they have access to mentorship opportunities that will help them in their career pathways in the outdoor industry and environmental fields,” said Teresa Baker, ODA board member and founder of the In Solidarity Project.

Click here to apply.

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