BIPOC Scholarship Fund

The Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Scholarship Fund is a new model of funding intended to address key barriers identified by BIPOC members of the community in order to better support them throughout their AMGA programs. This scholarship fund is set up differently as it is intended to address some of the systemic barriers that exist in and outside of the AMGA. We want to acknowledge that we are creating a new model of funding and the committee is open to any and all feedback from members of color. Our intention is to provide transparency and adaptability through this process.

Interested in supporting this Scholarship Fund? Consider a donation.


  • Background Information

    On June 9th, 2020, the AMGA launched a new Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Scholarship Fund. In an incredible 24-hours of giving, AMGA Instructor Team members committed nearly $5,000. Throughout the summer, our members donated over $18,000 and we reached over $20,000 in donations. Thank you to those who generously contributed and supported your fellow guides and instructors.

    Azissa Singh, AMGA Board Member, and Monserrat Alvarez, DEI Manager, engaged in listening sessions with  BIPOC members of the AMGA community. Thanks to those members, we were able to identify key barriers to entry, support mechanisms, and sustainability in our profession. It was clear to us that this scholarship fund needed to be built outside of our traditional scholarship model to address the barriers shared during these listening sessions. Our team crafted an alternative scholarship fund model and an official proposal was crafted by our DEI Manager, advised by the DEI Committee, that was approved by our executive officers on January 8th, 2021. We are striving to move forward with full transparency for both the BIPOC community that the fund is going to support and our overall membership.

  • Advisory Committee

    Dr. Brian Joseph Gilley 
    Dr. Brian J. Gilley grew up in Oklahoma and is of Alabama Creek and Cherokee descent.  He is a professor of anthropology at Indiana University where he has directed diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.  He is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and owner/operator of Egress Guides which focuses on education and access.

    Joshua Jarrin 
    Born and raised in Ecuador, Joshua began climb­ing at the age of ten. As a guide he was trained ini­tial­ly in Ecuador obtain­ing the ASEGUIM cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and lat­er he com­plet­ed his UIAGM/IFMGA cer­ti­fi­ca­tion through the inter­na­tion­al pro­gram of the ENSA (Nation­al School of Ski and Alpin­ism of France). He is cur­rent­ly the Tech­ni­cal Direc­tor of the Ecuado­ri­an Moun­tain Guides Asso­ci­a­tion ASEGUIM and member of the instructor team at the AMGA. Out­side of the moun­tains he has a B.A. in Culi­nary Arts.

    Yoshiko Miyazaki
    While growing up in Japan, the nature and creatures Yoshiko came across between school and home throughout the seasons intrigued her. She is a certified Rock and Ski Guide, and Assistant Alpine Guide, and would like to contribute as much as she can through her background and experience she has gained to this point. When not guiding expeditions in Alaska, or backcountry and mechanized skiing in Japan, she enjoys climbing and skiing in the Eastern Sierra range. In her free time, Yoshi volunteers for environmental non-profits and at an adaptive riding center, including breaking in wild mustangs to become therapy horses.

Key Information

Below you will find key information, projected timeline, deadlines, and FAQ. Please take your time to thoroughly read the FAQ section.  More questions? Email: [email protected]

The BIPOC Scholarship Fund will cover any of the following expenses for members of color going through their programs: 
  • Program fees: AMGA Mountain Guide and Climbing Instructor Programs. 
  • Travel funds: Travel support to attend AMGA programs 
  • Mentorship Support: For anyone seeking mentorship from AMGA guides and/or climbing instructors as well as co-students pursuing an education through the AMGA.
  • Provider Fees: Application fees, training fees, observation days, and other costs associated with becoming a Single Pitch Instructor or Climbing Wall Instructor Provider.  This is for an individual who is ready to start their path to becoming a provider through the AMGA. 
Projected timeline: Please note this timeline is subject to change. 
February 1, 2024
  • Application Period Opens: FEBRUARY 1
  • Close Application: FEBRUARY 22
  • Scholarship Award Notification: Week of March 25-29 

Ready to Apply?

Applications open 2/1-22, 2024

  • Please review the memo update from the advisory committee here
  • Here are the essay questions that you can submit in written, audio, or visual form via the application link. Please note that we will only accept one version of the application. We provided the questions ahead of time if folks would like to prepare their answers separately.

        -Who is a role model in your life who has contributed to increasing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion?
        -What are your career goals and how will this positively impact your career path and personal journey?
        -How will this opportunity enrich your life beyond AMGA professional development?


  • Donors:

    Thank you to the generous donors who made this fund possible. See a list of donors here

  • Do I have to be an AMGA member to apply for this scholarship?

    Yes, scholarships are a member benefit and we ask that people have a current membership as they apply for these funds. 

  • Why is this scholarship fund set up differently to other AMGA Scholarships?

    When the AMGA supported the creation of this fund, we knew that these funds needed to be administered in a way that would support the community they were created for. As an organization that is still learning and growing in our DEI work, we are thankful for the members of color who provide feedback and guide us in this work. This scholarship fund is set up differently as it is intended to address some of the systematic barriers that exist in and outside of the AMGA. 

  • Can I submit written and audio applications?

    Yes, we are accepting applications in audio, video, and written format. You can submit the written format via the google form. If you would like to submit audio or video format, you need to fill out the personal information in the google form (minus the essay questions) and send the audio or video file directly to [email protected]

  • Can I submit more than one application?

    You will only be able to submit one application per cycle, meaning you have an opportunity to apply for more funds in the next cycle. Remember that this fund will run biannually, May and November. We will only accept your application as written, audio, OR video format but not more than one format as it takes time to review all of the applications.

  • Will this be a reimbursement process like other scholarships?

    No, your total funds will be allocated within 2 months of being accepted for the scholarship amount.  You will still be responsible for deliverables that are mentioned in your contract. If you do not complete the deliverables by the deadline you may be responsible for the full payment of the scholarship amount. 

  • Can I apply for these funds if I am a recreational climber?

    All guides and instructors start as recreational climbers and if you have a desire to pursue a career as a guide or instructor we encourage you to look at the pre-reqs and this fund can be an option for you as you start your career. 

  • Can I apply if I have not yet met all my prerequisites but I have a plan to get them in place?

    Yes, you can apply for this fund with the understanding that you must meet all pre-requisite requirements by the time you apply for your course. Once you are awarded funds, it is your responsibility to meet the pre-reqs for your courses and get into a course.

  • How often will these funds be offered and for how long?

    The committee decided that this fund will be offered twice a year, May and November. Additionally, we have confirmed that there is a desire to sustain this fund in the long-term. While we game plan the longevity of this fund, we will move forward with using the funds that are available for us at the moment. 

  • How long do I have to use my funds?

    We will allow all applicants to use the fund within the year of approval of their application, we recognize that things come up, please touch base with Monserrat if you need an extension.

  • What is the maximum amount I can request?

    There is no amount restriction for the overall amount, however, each category has a max amount and the reviewers will compare the entire cost of the trip or course via your budget and make a decision from there. We would recommend that you request a realistic amount of funds, take note of the max for each category, and also note that you should evaluate what needs you have in each category.

  • What is required of me after I receive these funds?

    You will receive a contract with a formal outline and requirements, but typically they include deliverables such as photos, video, or artwork. You will have the ability to pick the content that feels most genuine to you.