With the green economy demanding fresh minds, students who are environmentally concerned but fiscally challenged have options, because schools and nonprofits are rallying resources to assist eco-scholars. Aid comes in the form of both financial assistance and career-development opportunities. The Earth Island Institute's Brower Youth Awards, for one, is granted annually to six young environmental activists. Ariana Katovich, a member of the first batch of recipients, received the $3,000 award in 2000. She's now the institute's director of restoration and director of its Streets Alive! project.
"Winning the award was very cool,' Katovich says. "But more important, it introduced me to the institute's network, which played a major role in me getting the job I hold now."
That's the general viewpoint among institutions: Scholarships that develop students' careers are, in the long run, more valuable than just money. "Students are trying to figure out how to turn their passion into a paycheck. Our recipients use these scholarships to jump-start their green careers,' says Niles Barnes, senior programs coordinator at the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The organization, which has been offering awards to students for eight years, provides not only grants but also access to its huge network of contacts in the environmental workforce.