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The Monika Johnson Avalanche Education Scholarship
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The Monika Johnson Avalanche Education Scholarship
Dedicated to Avalanche and Snow Safety in the Pacific Northwest

Turns All Year web site

What are the Yuki Awards?

A friend to everyone who was lucky enough to meet her, Monika Johnson was taken away from us when a cornice broke under her feet on Red Mountain on February 1st, 2011. The Monika Johnson Avalanche Education Scholarship has been created to bestow Yuki Awards in her honor. A lover of snow, her nickname was Yuki: "Snow" in Japanese. These scholarships are given in her memory to promote safety in the mountains for this and future generations. Learn more about Yuki here.

The way it works.

The idea behind the scholarship fund is to increase avalanche awareness and safety in the Pacific Northwest. Yuki Award recipients will be given an AIARE Level 1 avalanche course for free from a qualified provider (listed below). They will also receive an Ortovox avalanche transceiver to help them get started with the right equipment. In return, recipients will “pay forward” what they learn by creating and implementing an avalanche awareness program designed to target a community chosen by them. A “community” might be a group of snowmobile users, a girl or boy scout troop, an outdoor program at a school, or any other group of individuals the applicant wishes to address. Applicants may choose or in some cases be required to work with a volunteer mentor who will offer assistance throughout the implementation of the program. Here are some examples of paying forward:
  • Presentations on youth awareness in schools
  • In-house awareness clinics at a snowmobile dealership
  • On snow avalanche awareness and rescue clinics with rider groups
  • Avalanche awareness presentations at several boy and girl scout meetings

The more detailed and action oriented the application, the higher chance you will have of being accepted as a scholarship recipient. There is a current need to increase avalanche awareness amongst youth and snowmobilers and the scholarship fund is highly encouraging applicants to focus their efforts in these groups. In general, there are no guidelines set in stone for the successful applicant as these awards are meant to honor the free spirited and caring nature of the award’s inspiration, Monika Johnson. So have fun with it, use your imaginations, and reach out to groups that could benefit from avalanche awareness education.

Monika on Video Peak, Mount Baker backcountry

Application Details

To apply, please submit a one page (max) letter introducing both yourself and your idea for paying forward what you will learn in your Level 1 course. Focus more on establishing a timeline for something rather than an outline of material you don’t yet know. For example, you might say that by January 4, 2013 you will have taught two (2) awareness classes to 45 participants at two locations (The Sled Shed, Puyallup, WA, Lifetstyles Motorsports, Mount Vernon, WA). You might also list resources that you will need in order to carry out your plan. Beacons, a power point projector, cow bells, whatever. We want to work with you on this and will do our best to get you what you need, so don’t let a lack of resources get in the way of a good idea. The selection committee is less interested in the content of a plan at this stage than it is with the combination of excitement you bring to the table and willingness to carry out what you propose.

Eligibility: Anybody and everybody is eligible. No prior avalanche safety awareness is required. Applicants should most of all express a passion for snow.

Where to submit application: Please email your application as an attachment to: yukiaward@gmail.com

Application Deadline: Applications are being accepted immediately. The selection committee will begin awarding Yuki Awards in early December, 2011.

Notice Of Award

Once selected, award recipients will receive further information regarding registration and scheduling of their AIARE Level 1 course. The course providers have offered a wide range of dates and locations, with some course beginning in early December. Some restrictions do apply. Award recipients must also join the American Avalanche Association (AAA). The scholarship will pay the first year's dues.

Upon completion of the course it will be the recipient’s responsibility to carry out his or her project. All projects must adhere to guidelines established by the American Avalanche Association (see suggested links below). In some instances, the selection committee might wish to assign an experienced mentor to a particular project. Not to direct or guide the project, but rather to offer assistance when/if needed and to monitor the effectiveness of the program. An applicant may also ask for a mentor, in which case the selection committee will do its best to find someone suitable.

Award recipients will also receive a Feedback Sheet to distribute at their events. This sheet will serve as quality control and as a reference point to judge program effectiveness. Feedback sheets will be collected by the venue hosts, whom will be supplied with a postage paid envelope by the presenter. These feedback sheets will be sent to the selection committee in order to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the program. In years to come we hope to have established programs in which to insert Yuki Award winners. You all are pioneers. Thank you.

Our Program Donors

The following organizations have donated one AIARE Level 1 course each for the scholarship recipients for the 2011/2012 snow season. Please support them as they are supporting you!

Suggested Links
The American Avalanche Association

An example of the one curriculum and an avalanche awareness presentation can be seen here:
The Utah Avalanche Center

Donations and Contact

The Monika Johnson Avalanche Education Scholarship is under the umbrella of the Alpine Safety Awareness Program (ASAP), a 501(c)3 non-profit. As such, any donations to the MJAES are tax deductible. Donations to the MJAES Yuki Award can be now be made with check or credit.

For checks, please make payment to "MJAES" and mail donations to:

c/o Stephanie Brown
2630 NW College Way, #4
Bend, OR 97701

For credit, please use paypal. Access the account at this link:

For further information or questions, please email yukiaward@gmail.com.

©2011 Turns All Year LLC, www.turns-all-year.com

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