Bridger Ski Foundation doubled the number of senior scholarships this year and awarded four seniors with $400 scholarships. Jessi Cutler, Robert Kwapisz, Andrew Meyer, and Ariana Woods each received a BSF senior scholarship.
Jessi Cutler joined the Freestyle team just four years ago, and during her senior year won Northern Divisionals at Bridger Bowl and also competed at Junior Nationals. Jessi noted the tremendous impact volunteering as a BSF Ambassador has had on her, including at the Special Olympics and for Big Sky Wind Drinkers. “What I think BSF has changed about me,” she wrote, “is that I want to be a mentor more to the younger athletes.” Jessi will go on to study geological engineering at Montana Tech.
Andrew Meyer maintained a 4.0 GPA while having a breakthrough senior season that included All-American results at the 2018 Cross Country Junior Nationals. In his application essay, Andrew noted that his teammates and coaches “taught me how to be hardworking both in school and skiing, while also showing me how to be a supportive teammate and work well with others.” Andrew will join the Division I ski team at the University of New Hampshire, where he was awarded the Presidential Scholarship and plans to study economics.
As a member of the Nordic team, Robert Kwapisz was both a National Merit Scholarship Finalist and an AP Scholar. Robert qualified for Junior Nationals three times while also pursuing AP coursework and duel-enrollment coursework with MSU. In his scholarship essay, Robert noted that, “While I have become a faster, stronger, and smarter skier, pushing my athletic performance to new levels, I believe that some of the more important aspects of BSF are found off the race course.” He referred to his coaches and teammates as family and said he’s had the “incredible privilege of growing up with the support of countless generous souls.” Robert received the MUS Scholarship and will study physics at Montana State University as part of their Honors College.
“If I were to describe myself in just a single word I would answer, with no hesitation, that I am a skier. Everything in my life can be described by just that word. My perseverance, respect, work ethic, dedication, positivity, patience, and balance are all credited to my time with BSF.” - Robert Kwapisz
Ariana Woods maintained a 4.0 GPA while on the BSF Nordic Team (and she also competes in biathlon). In her essay, she noted the challenge of balancing 520 hours of training a year with the social and academic parts of her life. But she said her coaches cared about her grades and she wanted to impress them. “In turn, I have impressed myself with my ability to juggle everything.” Ariana will attend MSU and will move up to training with BSF’s Post Grad (PG) team.
Applicants apply for the BSF senior scholarship each spring, with funds going toward their first year of college. Recipients will have demonstrated significant commitment, dedication, and accomplishment, both academically and athletically, during their years as a high school athlete at BSF.