Hatcher Pass Avalanche Center

Scholarship Fund

The Johnny Soderstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund encourages young mountain enthusiasts to acquire avalanche education in order to improve decision making and increase their level of safety and awareness in the backcountry.

Awards range from partial to full scholarship depending on an individuals’ needs, the cost of the chosen avalanche course, and available funds.

Donate to Johnny Soderstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Donation Total: $100.00

How to Qualify

  • Applicants must be Alaskan residents of the Mat-Su Valley
  • A priority is set for ages 30 and younger, however all ages are encouraged to apply
  • Complete applicant information
  • Periodically check in with HPAC regarding application and scholarship status
  • Notify HPAC immediately if you will not be able to attend your chosen avalanche education program
  • Payment for your course must be paid in full with proof of receipt by the applicant in order to receive the scholarship award
  • Scholarship students are required to write a letter of appreciation to the Soderstrom Family. The letter must be presented to HPAC, who will review it, and send it to the family.

When to apply

  • Scholarship applications are accepted September through February. Awards are given on a first come first serve basis to qualified applicants.
  • Early application is recommended, funding is limited. Notification of award is usually given within 2 weeks of receipt of application paperwork.

How to apply

  1. Send an email to info@hpavalanche.org with “JSMSF” in the subject line and include personal contact information
  2. Choose an avalanche course and include the details: Date of course, Course Provider, Name/Type of course, Cost.
  3. Pay for the course in full and provide a copy of the receipt of the course purchase to HPAC
  4. The course provider must call HPAC to confirm enrolment in the chosen course
  5. Complete all paperwork requirements and essay questions.
  6. Provide a reference from someone who knows the applicant well.


  • Assure that all information is complete.
    • Name, Address, Age, telephone number, relationship to application if applicable
    • Course provider, name of course, date of course, course cost, receipt of full payment for course
  • Completed recommendation by someone who knows applicant well and who can explain why they would benefit from an avalanche education program.
  • Complete these essay questions
    • Why do you want to take an avalanche course?
    • What do you plan to do with the skills you learn on this course?
    • How will this course help to improve your decision making in avalanche terrain?
    • Why do you need a scholarship?
  • A completion of course diploma or supporting document must be presented to HPAC
  • Within one week of course completion, a letter of appreciation must be presented to HPAC. HPAC will forward this letter to the donors of the JSMSF and the Soderstrom family.
  • Inform HPAC of any non-JSMSF sources of financial assistance that may be available.
  • Periodically check in with HPAC regarding the application and the scholarship award status.
  • Notify HPAC immediately if you are NOT able to attend the course.