Eight students stand in a line looking out at a very green Mono Lake with waves on it and with a tufa island and the Mono Craters in the distance, and they are all wearing cool-weather outdoor gear.

2013 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship recipients

We are proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Mono Lake Committee Scholarship. Tristan Blommer and Cortney Duro, both seniors at Lee Vining High School, wrote essays that won them $1,000 each to help with their education expenses.

Committee Communications Director Arya Degenhardt with Lee Vining High School graduate Cortney Duro.
Arya with Lee Vining High School graduate Tristan Blommer.

Students were asked to go to the shore of Mono Lake and spend at least 15 minutes sitting quietly, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells while reflecting on the question, “Why does Mono Lake matter?” Tristan and Cortney wrote essays that best demonsrtated a connection with the lake and the question we asked.

Tristan wrote, “So many natural places are being lost in our contemporary age, and Mono Lake is one of the surviving few. It’s a place to visit and feel the weight of the world shed itself from one’s shoulders. In the fast-paced hustle of everyday life, Mono Lake is a sanctuary where people can stop and think without distraction.” See Tristan’s complete essay here.

Cortney wrote, “Sitting on the shore of Mono Lake is wild. You can hear and see the birds, watch the water and the foam move, listen to the alkali flies, and stare off at the horizon. You can also stare at the tufa for hours and imaging how it used to be under water, a living spring, and now it is a fossil.” See Cortney’s complete essay here.

The Committee support students pursuing higher education who display a personal connection with Mono Lake with two $1,000 scholarships to the applicants with the best essays. Mono County resident high school seniors who have firm plans to attend a two- or four-year college within a year of graduation qualify for the Mono Lake Committee Scholarship.

If you are interested in the scholarship program please contact Arya Degenhardt at (760) 647-6595. For more information on the Mono Lake Committee Scholarship program, please visit the web page. Committee members have already been very supportive of the program, sending in donations for the scholarships—thank you!

Top photo by Ava Stavros.