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Frequently Asked Questions regarding the RRWSS Frank Bertaina Scholarship Application Procedure

What is the Russian River Wild Steelhead Society?

The Russian River Wild Steelhead Society (RRWSS) was founded by Frank Bertaina in 2009. Frank loved the Russian River and had been a part of its fly fishing hey-day, a time when the Russian River was noted as having one of the most prolific runs of Steelhead in all of the Pacific Northwest.

Noticing a significant decline in the Russian River fishery, Frank wanted to do something to help restore what he had once experienced and cherished on his favorite river. This action would require a group of dedicated individuals who would undertake a focused effort toward the rehabilitation of the ecosystem.

As this dream began to take shape, Frank's goals were outlined in the Mission Statement. The Russian River Wild Steelhead Society is an organization dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of wild Russian River Steelhead and the Russian River watershed. The Russian River Wild Steelhead Society immediately began fund-raising and seeking members while also taking steps to become a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization.

What is the scholarship amount?

The RRWSS will award up to two $1,000 scholarships annually.

Who is eligible for the RRWSS Frank Bertaina Scholarship?

This scholarship is open to high school seniors pursuing a college education, current college and graduate students (in the north coast region) pursuing an associate or four year degree and who have participated in conservation work in the north coast region.

How will the scholarship be awarded?

The award will be based on education, community service related to steelhead/salmon recovery and related conservation work, creativity, enthusiasm, work ethic and leadership for steelhead recovery in the North Coast region. Financial need will also be a factor.

Why has the RRWSS chosen to only give scholarships for conservation work on North Coast rivers/region?

The RRWSS was founded with the specific purpose of preserving, protecting and enhancing the wild steelhead in the Russian River. It was important to encourage and support young people/students in their conservation efforts for the entire north coast and to recognize the need to pursue education outside of the Sonoma County area.

What is the definition of “North Coast Region”?

The north coast region (for the purpose of the RRWSS scholarship) is defined as steelhead/salmon habitat from the San Francisco Bay north to the Oregon border. If you have any questions about our definition, please contact us.

I am a current high school or college student who would like to apply for the scholarship but I don’t believe I have done enough conservation work to be eligible. What can I do?

The RRWSS can help you prepare now for next year’s scholarship by connecting you with our organization, one in your area and one that meets your conservation objectives. You can contact the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator Kelly Ames at 707-249-3392 for assistance or kames84@gmail.com. Also, you may be able to complete one project to be eligible. Call us for ideas and assistance.

I am a graduate student and would like to apply and may be missing some of the required information.

This is the first year we have accepted graduate students for the scholarship program. Please contact us and we will assist you through the process. Kelly Ames 707-249-3392.

What will happen to my application once it is received by the RRWSS board?

It will be submitted to a first screening by the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator together with the other applications received. If your application passes this first screening, it will be reviewed by the RRWSS scholarship committee. The board members will individually review the applications, vote and resubmit the applications back to the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator to tally the votes. At the March RRWSS board meeting, a final scholarship candidate will be approved by the board and the candidate will be notified. Your acceptance letter must be given to us no later than 3/20/15 or upon acceptance/receipt. The winners will be granted their scholarships at the RRWSS annual dinner on March 21, 2015. We would really appreciate your attendance at this event.

Candidates whose application does not pass the initial screening will be duly informed by the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator. It is suggested you submit your application early in case more information is needed.

I do not yet have an acceptance letter confirming I have been accepted in the institution where I am planning to study.

Check the box will send it by March 20, 2015.

I am a relative of a RRWSS board member. Am I eligible to apply for a RRWSS Frank Bertaina Scholarship?

Yes, RRWSS relatives are allowed to apply. The related board member will be recused from voting on your application.

What is the scholarship deadline?

February 20, 2015

How should my application be submitted?

All applications should be received by mail. The appropriate address is on the scholarship application.

The application must be submitted — but additional documentation may also be submitted. For example, submission of photos or video may be included with your application. Any photos or videos submitted to RRWSS are the property of RRWSS and may be posted on RRWSS website or facebook site. You will be contacted prior to the use of this material. Application information will be confidential.

Will I receive a confirmation of my submission?

Yes. You will receive a confirmation by mail. If you would also like an email confirmation, include your email address. The RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator will use this to contact you. If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact us.

I have already received a RRWSS Frank Bertaina Scholarship. Can I apply again?

Yes, but if you apply again, be aware that preference may be given to candidates who have not previously received a Frank Bertaina Scholarship.

How many applications are selected to receive an award each year?

At this stage, the Frank Bertaina Fund is able to award approximately up to two scholarships each year.

When will I know if I have been awarded a RRWSS Frank Bertaina Scholarship?

The successful candidate is notified by the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator as soon as the RRWSS board of directors has made its selection, usually during the month of March each year.

Once the winner has confirmed his/her acceptance, the RRWSS Scholarship Program Coordinator will inform those who have not been selected. That way, if a candidate has had to give up his/her application, the grant he/she was supposed to receive can be offered to one of the runner-up applicants.

Scholarship Application