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PolarExplorers Announces Applications Are Open for the 2023-24 Matthew Henson Scholarship

10 November 2023

PolarExplorers' Matthew Henson Scholarship honors the legacy of polar explorer Matthew Henson (1866-1955) by inspiring people of color – particularly emerging outdoor guides or people with current positions or future goals of leadership in the outdoor industry – to embrace cold weather adventures and to build the necessary skill set to thrive (and not just survive) during cold weather expedition travel.

This two-year scholarship, awarded annually, provides two consecutive years of fully subsidized participation on PolarExplorer's Polar Shakedown Training. The first year focuses on skill development and an overview of cold-weather expedition travel. The second year dives into leadership development and hands-on experience guiding in the extreme cold.

This scholarship is open to all people of color who are passionate about wilderness travel and outdoor leadership, who aspire to have a career in the outdoor industry, and who are looking to increase their skill set to include cold weather camping and leadership. Qualified applicants should have previous experience with backcountry camping, the desire to inspire others, a strong commitment to developing positive relationships, an appetite for a steep learning curve, and a level of fitness that can accommodate long days of hard work.

Applications are due by 1 December 2023. The scholarship recipient will be notified by 15 December 2023. The dates for the 2023 training are 1-6 February. 


About Matthew Henson 
Matthew Henson was a remarkable explorer and possibly the first person to stand at the North Pole. With his wide-ranging knowledge and passion for learning he developed a vast skill set that led to the success of many expeditions. Because he was African American, he did not receive the recognition he was due until well after he died. His legacy lives on in the countless people who have been inspired by his life. 

About PolarExplorers
Backed by decades of experience guiding polar expeditions, PolarExplorers creates exceptional and unique expeditions and adventures for the intrepid traveler with the following core values: 1) to be safe and successful; 2) to transform lives; 3) to make lasting connections with people and places; and 4) to be positive stewards of our planet. PolarExplorers is celebrating 30 years of organizing and guiding polar expeditions with over 650 alumni helping them achieve this success.

For more information visit https://www.polarexplorers.com/matthew-henson-scholarship

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