Congratulations to Alexanidria Nieri and Ross Monroe, the first-ever winners of the Dr. Martin Hedstrom Memorial Scholarship.
We would like to start by thanking all the candidates that applied. Selecting our winners was no easy task; in both post- and undergrads we had heated debated about who should be chosen. We were humbled by the amount of goodwill and sheer awesomeness out there in the lifesaving community. It’s funny, we started this scholarship to feel good and give back and now we feel bad that we don’t have infinite money to back all the talented folks we’ve been learning about. Stay active and keep fighting the good fight. After all, we drowning nerds are a tightly knit community and we at Lifeguards Without Borders hope to support you in other capacities. Martin would be stoked and honored by the responses we received.
With that said, and without further ado, your winners….
Alexandria Nieri won our Undergraduate scholarship prize of $500. She is a Hobart Beach, NY, lifeguard and member of the National Drowning Prevention Alliance. She is studying physical education and minoring in aquatics at Slippery Rock University. Alexandria certifies her coworkers as a lifeguarding instructor and attended the National Drowning Prevention Alliance Educational Conference in Orlando, FL, in 2014. She also teaches swimming to children and plans to further her aquatics education, creating robust learn-to-swim programs to reduce pediatric drowning.
Ross Monroe is studying for his Masters as a Physician Assistant at the University of Southern California, although he hails from Corolla in the outer banks of North Carolina where he was voted Rookie of the Year, Lifeguard of the Year, and later made captain of Corolla Ocean Rescue. He is an active contributor to the International Surf Lifesaving Association and no stranger to adventure; he told us he impulsively bought a ticket to Maui and ended up spending 7 months there. In that time he lead humpback whaling tours with Hawaiian Paddle Sports and won a 36+ mile race from sea level to 10,000 feet in about 5 hours. Congratulations on winning our $1,000 postgraduate scholarship.
Again, thank you to everyone who applied. We’re still bummed that we have to go highlander style with it. Stay tuned for our Project Grant awards later this year, deadline Dec. 1, 2014, where we’ll award $1,500 to a drowning prevention program of our choosing. Got one in mind? Apply today!
Thanks lifesavers; stay awesome!
-the Martin Hedstrom Scholarship Committee