Today I am pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship.
The BTP travel scholarship was created as a means of giving out small amounts of money to help young, first time bicycle travelers turn their cycle touring dreams into a reality.
As someone who started bike touring at the age of 17, I know how just a small amount of funding put in the right hands can go a very long way. And that’s what the Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship is all about! It’s about helping a few amazing young people finance their bicycle touring adventures, so that they can go on and do incredible things in their own lives… and in the lives of others.
2011 was the second year for the BTP travel scholarship and even though I did very little to advertise the scholarship itself, a good number of people ultimately applied for the funding.
Thanks to Bicycle Touring Pro readers just like you, $580 USD was donated to this year’s scholarship fund in the last two weeks alone. And on top of the money donated by readers, another $220 was added to the scholarship fund thanks to those of you who purchased one of the bicycle touring resources on this page over the past two weeks.
If you made a donation to this year’s BTP travel scholarship or you purchased one of Bicycle Touring Pro’s travel resources over the past two weeks, THANK YOU. A total of $800 USD was raised for this year’s travel scholarship… and it is this amount that I’ll be giving out in just a few short moments.
Side Note: If you would like to make a donation to next year’s travel scholarship fund, just click here and enter the amount you wish to donate on the following page.
As for the applicants themselves, and the process of picking a winner, this was an extremely difficult task.
There were few guidelines for the scholarship itself. The only rules for the scholarship this year were that you be under the age of 35 and that, if you were ultimately selected as the winner of the scholarship, the money be used to help you finance your first bicycle touring adventure. Other than that, the decision for as to who would be crowned the winner of this year’s scholarship money was entirely on my shoulders.
That said, I didn’t want to make the decision all by myself. So I contacted some of the people I trust most (my friends and family), asked them to look through all the scholarship applications, and then asked them to tell me which of the applicants they believed I should give the money to.
In the end, my trusted friends and I agreed that everyone who applied for the travel scholarship this year was deserving. But there was one person (or group of people, actually) who really stood out.
And so, without further ado, the recipients of the 2011 BTP travel scholarship are:
Kerstin Martin, Katie & Lauren – The Localmotive Bike Tour ($800 USD)
Congratulations Kerstin, Katie and Lauren!
These three young women are friends who all attended Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania and majored in Environmental Studies.
The plan for their bicycle touring adventure is to leave home in May of this year and travel across the United States on their bicycles via the famous TransAmerica bicycle trail. Along the way, the women will be working to inspire young girls to get outside… get active… and eat healthy, local foods.
In order to achieve this goal, the women have teamed up with the Girl Scouts of America and have plans to stop and interact with several Girl Scout troupes across the country as they slowly make their way across the nation on their bikes.
To learn more about the Localmotive Bike Tour and discover the reasons behind the womens’ cross-country bicycle touring adventure, be sure to visit the official Localmotive Bike Tour website at: http://localmotive2011.wordpress.com/
The reason I selected Kerstin, Katie and Lauren as the recipients of this year’s Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship is varied and complex, but here are a few reasons these three young women really stood out.
1) They’ve been planning this adventure for the past year… and it shows. They’ve got a website up and running… they’ve got a budget and a packing list… and they’ve got a plan!
2) Their decision to team up with the Girl Scouts is pure genius. With a goal of helping young girls become more conscious of the foods they eat and the outdoor activities they participate in, the Girl Scout format is a great one to tap into as a market for contacting, interacting with, and educating young girls about these important issues.
3) And finally, the issues that Kerstin, Katie and Lauren are attempting to tackle with this trip are extremely relevant to what is currently taking place in the world right now. There is a major food movement going on, and more and more people are becoming aware of just how bad the foods we eat really are.
With television shows like Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution currently discussing the poor foods that our children partake in while at school… and Michelle Obama’s healthy food campaign currently raging on, the food issue is an important one… and one that deserves a whole lot more attention.
There are a number of other reasons the Localmotive Bike Tour stood out to me and my trusted panel of judges, but that’s not what’s important.
What is important is that the Localmotive bike tour is quickly approaching, that these three young women still have a whole lot of work ahead of them, and their message is one that needs to be discussed!
Hopefully, the $800 USD that we were able to raise will be of some assistance to the women on their travels. Whether the money is used for food, equipment, educational supplies, or something else completely, I believe that these three young women have a chance to do something great here… and I’m sure that they will.
So again, congratulations Kerstin, Katie and Lauren!
If you wish to follow the women on their bicycle touring adventure across the United States, be sure to visit their website at: http://localmotive2011.wordpress.com/ and/or follow their travels via Facebook.
Thanks again to everyone who donated to this year’s scholarship fund… congrats again to Kerstin, Katie and Lauren… and thanks to everyone who applied for this year’s BTP travel scholarship!
Once Again: If you would like to make a donation to next year’s Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship, please click here. A donation of any size (no matter how small) will make a huge difference when we give out our third BTP travel scholarship at this time next year.