Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarship

Kenton1In fond memory of Kenton Grua, the Whale Foundation offers the Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarship.

If you are looking to further your education, are financially challenged in meeting your goals, and have been a Grand Canyon river guide for at least 5 years (5 trips/year piloting your own boat or in a paid guide/swamper position), you are eligible to apply for these funds. Contact us and request your application or download the application below. Be sure to read the instructions; we require more than just the application. We accept completed applications any time during the year but the deadline for each annual award is July 1st.

Thanks to river guide Johnny Janssen – who came up with the idea – and the generosity of some outfitters, guides and guests.

If you want to support the Scholarship Fund your donations are not only greatly appreciated, they will help to create a tradition we can all be proud of. For more information call our business line at 928-774-9440 or send us an email.

Find out more about Kenton click here to read a tribute to the “Factor”.

The Whale Foundation Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarship

  • What? – The Kenton Grua Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is for Grand Canyon river guides who are following their educational goals. It is inspired by the memory of Kenton and his lifelong pursuit of knowledge, learning, innovation and teaching. (Award amount and number of scholarships to be determined).
  • Why? – Established in 2002 by the Whale Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization to benefit Grand Canyon guides pursuing post-secondary education, degree or non-degree seeking at an accredited educational institution.
  • Eligibility? – Available to Grand Canyon river guides with 5 years experience( with at least 5 trips/year either piloting your own boat or in a paid guide/swamper position) who also demonstrate financial need and an educational goal.
  • How? – Download the application by clicking the link below or email us to request an application.
  • Deadline: All materials must be in the Whale Foundation’s office or postmarked by July 1st.
  • Scholarship recipients can apply every year but are eligible to receive three awards only. If you are applying multiple times you can use the same recommendation letters if you wish.

Application Materials:

An application packet must contain the following items or it will be declined:

  • The completed application form.  2017 KGMS Application
  • Two letters of recommendation, it is recommended that one come from your G.C. outfitter and the second from a person with whom you have a professional relationship. We suggest that the outfitter letter address 1) your interaction with other guides (particularly your mentoring and leadership qualities); 2) your interaction with passengers (particularly your empathy, teaching); 3) your ability to provide a positive down-river experience for your guests) and 4) verify your 5-year employment history. If you cannot procure a letter from your outfitter, we recommend a letter from a past or present employer. For the second letter, please ask a faculty advisor, work supervisor or another person of authority who can also write an objective evaluation.
  • Proof of enrollment at an educational institution in the form of a tuition receipt, class schedule or letter from your Dean or program director.
  • Copy of previous year’s tax returns. (not your w-2 as was required in the past)
  • Notification of any other scholarships anticipated or applied for.
  • A personal letter (one to two pages) explaining the program you are entering, your reasons for returning to school, your long-term career goals, your involvement with the boating community.  Describe the positive experiences on the river that have led to your decision to pursue other work and what you’ve learned as a guide over your career that may serve you in your new endeavor.
  • Number of years as a Grand Canyon guide. 5 years minimum with ~5 trips/year piloting your own boat or as a paid guide/swamper. Sorry, work on other rivers does not qualify you for this program.

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