The 2020 ITEP Virtual Run & Fundraiser, hosted by the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP), takes place Oct. 9-17 to support and raise money for the Virgil Masayesva Native American Environmental Scholarship Fund.
ITEP’s mission is to strengthen tribal capacity and sovereignty in environmental and natural resource management through culturally relevant education, research, partnerships and policy-based services.
In 2006, ITEP established the scholarship in memory of the late co-founder and original director of ITEP Virgil Masayesva and his pursuits to advance Native American environmental education and protection issues throughout the country. Masayesva was a member of the Hopi Tribe and was instrumental in establishing ITEP’s American Indian Air Quality Training Program and the Tribal Air Monitoring Support Center as well as many other programs that protect and preserve tribal resources and tribal environmental management.
The scholarship carries on his legacy by supporting qualified Native American students pursuing environmental careers and those committed to careers associated with environmental protection of Indian Country.
This year, the centerpiece of ITEP’s fundraising campaign honors Masayesva, an avid runner, with a virtual run. Participants pay a $25 registration fee and then choose to take part in a fun run/walk, 5K, 10K or half marathon. The fee includes a T-shirt designed by Clarence Cooley, a member of the Navajo Nation. Run time, results and a photo of each participant will be posted on the event website.
Each year the endowment has grown and increased the number of awardees. Since 2006, 17 scholarships have been awarded to Native students from Alaska, Idaho, New Mexico and Arizona. ITEP’s goal is to raise $20,000 by the end of October.