~ Alma Sophie Johnson’s recent NOLS, Wilderness First Responder course ~



Dear Gorge Fund.
George Gardner Scholarship Fund has given me wings over the years to really get after experiences that have helped shape me into who I am today. Thank you for all your support and encouragement.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to become a certified Wilderness First Responder through the National Outdoor Leadership School, all thanks to the generous support of my friends at the George Gardner Scholarship Fund. I have always admired NOLS, and for years it had been a dream of mine to take one of their wilderness medical courses. Thank you for making the experience possible!

My college education before I took the WFR course had been challenging. I had plenty of energy and passion but no solid path to send it down. I was discouraged that my greatest “ah-ha!” moments had been felt outside the classroom. I craved substance and decided the only way I would fill out my education would be through experience. Thus, I cannot articulate the joy I felt to be excited and present within a course of study. The majority of the WFR course was taught outside, to my delight. It was hands-on- using scenarios, make-up, and the students’ own imagination and critical thinking to propel the curriculum forward. Our instructors focused on exposing us to as close to real-life medical situations as we could simulate. I thrived. For the first time in my college career I thought, “THIS is what I want to do.” Thanks to GGSF I was able to take a NOLS course, and thanks to the momentum I gained from the certification I feel confident in my future endeavors. I want to be a Wilderness EMT and an outdoor educator who is bent on improving the state of our public health. And I will be.

Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to realize there are many more opportunities in life than we are led to believe and for believing I have what it takes to realize my own potential.

I appreciate you indefinitely

Alma Sophie Johnson