BIPOC Scholarship Fund

Learn more about the fund and our Advisory Committee
Over the last few months, members of our advisory committee met to discuss the infrastructure of this new fund. We are thankful for their time, knowledge, and overall willingness to provide mentorship and support to see this through.

  • 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 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. Our advisory committee recommended that we open this fund twice a year, in May and November of each year. 

The second cycle of the BIPOC Scholarship Fund will open October 25th and close on November 28th EOD. The BIPOC Scholarship Fund will cover any of the following expenses: 

  • Program fees: you can request funds to cover program fees associated with AMGA Mountain Guide and Climbing Instructor Programs. Up to $2,000 per person.
  • Travel funds: travel support to attend AMGA programs up to $300 per trip. 
  • Mentorship Support: For anyone seeking mentorship from AMGA guides and/or climbing instructors as well as co-students pursuing an education through the AMGA. The subsidy will include travel and/or wages.
    -Up to $300 to travel to mentorship opportunities
    -Day wages to hire more senior guides up to $400 per day
  • Provider Fees: application fee, training fees, observation days, and other costs associated with becoming a Single Pitch Instructor or Climbing Wall Instructor Provider up to $2,000. This is for an individual who is ready to start their path to becoming a provider through the AMGA. 

How to Apply
Please read the information above before proceeding with the application, in addition to the FAQ. This fund is for
anyone who identifies as a Black, Indigenous, Person of Color including, but not limited to mixed-race people who identify as people of color. In order to apply:  

  • The application must be submitted before the deadline of November 28th. If you would like to submit your application in an audio or video format, please email: [email protected]. Please note that we will only accept ONE VERSION of the application, either audio, video or written.  The application rubric can be found here.
  • A sample budget will be required in the application: please download this template, fill it out, and submit it with your application. 
  • Essay questions that will be answered in the google form:
    -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 the AMGA professional development?  
  • See sample application and budget here. We recommend that you copy and paste the questions above and craft your response before applying.

Projected timeline: 

  • October 25th: Application will open 
  • November 28th: Applications will close
  • Mid-December: notification

2021 BIPOC Scholarship Fund recipients: 

  • Jose Ricardo Ramos-Leon
  • Luis Gil
  • Cheyenne Elise Smith
  • Kelly Chang
  • Rodel Querubin
  • Xavier Bravo
  • Sam Bujnarowski
  • Matt Zia
  • Francesca Cesario
  • Francisco S. Villa


Apply Here
before November 28th

  • 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 systematic barriers that exist in and outside of the AMGA. 

  • Can I submit written and audio applications?

  • 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?

    Yes, this will be handled as a reimbursement process like our other scholarships. The AMGA is currently working to update the reimbursement process of our scholarships, we recognize that it is a barrier and are working to address it. Once the organization updates the reimbursement policy, it will update all aspects of our scholarships. 

  • 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.

  • 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 and if they touch base beforehand, can even use up to two years as we recognize that things come up.

  • What is the maximum amount I can request?

    There is no amount restriction, however, 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 and also note that you should evaluate what needs you have in each category.