6 students earn Sanctuary Forest scholarships

Sanctuary Forest scholarship winners from left include Jacob Smith, Daphne Hobbs, Nicole Lyell, Raymond Zhao, Steven Johnston and Jamie Anne Robbins.
Sanctuary Forest scholarship winners from left include Jacob Smith, Daphne Hobbs, Nicole Lyell, Raymond Zhao, Steven Johnston and Jamie Anne Robbins. Contributed

The Redwood Times

Six high school students were named as recipients of $1,000 scholarships from Sanctuary Forest for their demonstrated commitment to environmental protection.

The winners of the scholarships are Daphne Hobbs, South Fork High School; Steven Johnston, Eureka High School; Nicole Lyell, McKinleyville High School; Jamie Anne Robbins, Eureka High School; Jacob Smith, McKinleyville High School; and Raymond Zhao, St. Bernard’s Academy.

Dimmick scholarship

The Dimmick Family Scholarship, funded for 23 years by the Dimmick family; local producers of timber for four generations, honors the compatible goals of sustainable forestry and environmental protection. This year’s recipient is Daphne Hobbs, who will be attending Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington in the fall. Hobbs plans to major in agriculture, forestry, or rangeland, and minor in business. A participant in the Nick’s Interns program, 4-H, and Youth Interpreters, Hobbs was born and raised on a multi-generational family ranch, raising “cattle, sheep, chickens, and have many forested acres.”

“I am very involved with the agriculture on the ranch,” she said. “ ... I love dealing with the animals because it brings a different perspective to the world by what responsibilities it takes to care for the animals properly.”

Hobbs hopes to continue exploring her passion for her career, and is interested in working as a forester, rangeland manager, or possibly state or federal parks or for the Bureau of Land Management.

Snodgrass scholarship

The recipient of the Rondal Snodgrass Scholarship, recognizing Sanctuary Forest’s founder and first executive director, is Jacob Smith.

Smith will be attending Carleton College in Minnesota and plans on majoring in political science, stating “with hopes of returning to Humboldt, and leaving a positive political impact on the county and community that raised me. Doing so will give me an incredible opportunity to help work to protect the environment that I care so much about, as I would be theoretically creating the legislation that would protect, conserve, and enhance the beautiful natural habitat that surrounds us in Humboldt County.”

As an Eagle Scout and a proponent of the Leave No Trace program, Smith feels strongly about environmental issues, and “walks the walk” as a frequent participant in beach clean-ups, invasive grass removals, and garbage pick-ups at the Arcata Community Forest.

Community scholarship

The local business community has again demonstrated its support of the next generation of environmental leaders with a Sanctuary Forest Business Community Scholarship. The winner of this scholarship is Nicole Lyell, who plans to attend the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and double major in environmental design and business.

A longtime member of McKinleyville High’s Go Green Club, she frequently participates in environmental protection projects in her community.

Lyell wants to open her own business “that builds and designs homes with a focus on creating affordable environmentally friendly homes. [She believes] that it is absurd that environmentally friendly [technologies] … are made available exclusively to those who can afford the high price tag. The world of sustainability should not be a target of corporate profit, but rather a community effort to improve the world that supports our brothers and sisters.”

HRC scholarship

Humboldt Redwood Company, having supported Sanctuary Forest’s scholarship program for four years, has generously awarded a scholarship to Raymond Zhao, who will be majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University this fall.

Zhao plans to participate in the Yale Student Environmental Coalition and the Sustainability Service Corps during his college career.

He believes that decisions made by any administration should take the health of the environment into account, and that “without fact-based decision making, laws and regulations could potentially be detrimental to all life on earth.” He hopes to be a part of “a future that will solve major environmental problems like climate change.”

Kelly scholarships

The Maria & Robert Kelly Stewardship has again joined with Sanctuary Forest to award two scholarships in 2018, the first to Steven Johnston, who has been admitted to UC Riverside, and will major in cell, molecular and developmental biology, and double minor in Spanish and Global climate change.

A participant in the Youth Conservation Corps, he was employed by the Department of the Interior at the Humboldt Bay National Wildlife Refuge, and learned how to “maintain biodiversity and native species health, remove invasive species, and preserve the habitats of local organisms.”

Johnston is interested in endocrinology and “how aquatic organisms can be affected by factory runoff or other anthropogenic sources of pollution,” but also considering “becoming a doctor that helps patients in contaminated environments or where epidemics are present in attempts to eradicate disease.”

The second Maria & Robert Kelly Stewardship Scholarship went to Jamie Anne Robbins, who will be majoring in anthropology and geography at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo this fall.

Robbins is excited about getting a “more specific look at the history of humankind and how we have affected the world around us and what we can do to make it even better in the future.”

She has enjoyed being member of the Students for Environmental Awareness Club, saying it “has allowed me to make a difference for my local environment,” and completed a senior project on introducing STEM programs at a local elementary school. After getting her degree, she looks forward to becoming a professor or environmental lawyer, saying “I am passionate about environmental issues and learning how to impact the world around me in a positive way…either of those goals will allow me to continue to give back to my community and inspire others, both of which are very important to me.”

Approximately $82,000 has now been awarded to Sanctuary Forest scholarship winners since the program’s inception. Many have gone on to work in environmental fields contributing to the vitality of the natural world.

Sanctuary Forest scholarships are funded by friends of Sanctuary Forest and by the Dimmick Family, Humboldt Redwood Company, the Maria & Robert Kelly Stewardship, and by local businesses Thrifty Supply, Redway Liquor & Deli, Coffee Break and attorney Douglas Ingold.

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