Alcoa Foundation selects 12 Peel students for United States adventure

SELECTED: Pieter Jonathan Vester, from Barragup, will take part in an environmental
expedition of Olympic National Park in July after being awarded an Alcoa Foundation
scholarship. Photo: Supplied.
SELECTED: Pieter Jonathan Vester, from Barragup, will take part in an environmental expedition of Olympic National Park in July after being awarded an Alcoa Foundation scholarship. Photo: Supplied.

Twelve Peel high-school students are among 27 West Australian teenagers selected to participate in scientific expeditions in the United States, made possible by the Alcoa Foundation.

Sixty three 16-to-18 year olds from across the globe have been chosen for the NatureBridge expeditions, which bring together like-minded students to learn how their actions impact their community and the world around them.

The participants were selected from communities near where Alcoa operates.

The other West Australian students are from the Kwinana and South-West areas, where Alcoa also has bauxite mining or alumina refining.

The group will head off in July or August to either Yosemite National Park in California or Olympic National Park in Washington, where they will learn about teamwork, reducing climate change and the different cultures of their fellow scholars.

Student Pieter Jonathan Vester, 16, from Barragup, said the once-in-a-lifetime trip was too good to pass up.

"I am excited about meeting different people from around the world, the adventure we are going to have together and the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of nature," he said.

The other successful Peel students are Kate Haggerty, Paige Bembridge, Aidan Rafferty, Jack Mountain, Caitlin Murphy, Caleb Woodward, Jamie-Anne Madigan, Danielle Booker, Willow Brewer, Ryan Hannah and Lincoln Hawke-Dufall.

Alcoa of Australia managing director Michael Parker said the NatureBridge program aimed to inspire and empower high-school students to become long-term environmental stewards.

"We are building the next generation of sustainability ambassadors and we strongly believe that being immersed in nature while studying science will have long-term impacts on these young people," he said.

The scholarships cover the cost of airfares, visas and the full two-week program.