Johnny Soderstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund

JohnSoderstrom_The Johnny Soderstrom Memorial Scholarship Fund encourages young, mat-su resident mountain enthusiasts, to acquire avalanche education in order to improve decision making and increase their level of safety and awareness in the backcountry.

Awards range from partial to full scholarship depending on an individual's’ needs and the cost of the chosen avalanche course.

Applications are accepted throughout the year, and are awarded on a first come, first serve basis, to qualified applicants. This fund was established with support from the Friends of the Chugach Avalanche Information Center in 2014.


Requirements and stipulations:

  • Applicants must be Alaskan residents of the Mat-Su Valley
  • A priority is set for ages 30 and younger, however we encourage all ages to apply
  • Completed application form
  • Completed recommendations form from someone who knows you well and can explain why you would benefit from avalanche education
  • Periodically check in with HPAC regarding application and scholarship status
  • Notify HPAC immediately if you will not be able to attend your chosen avalanche education program
  • Payment for your course must be paid in full with proof of receipt by the applicant in order to receive the scholarship award
  • Scholarship students are required to write a letter of appreciation to the Friends of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center who funded this award in 2015/16. The letter must be presented to HPAC for review and then forwarded to the Friends group for final award.

Support this scholarship fund

If you would like to DONATE to the fund, please contact [email protected]


To apply make a request for an application at [email protected]

You must include JSMSF in the subject line of the email.


Soderstrom on Denali – Paul Huebner Photo

Read more about Johnny: Soderstrom was an experienced climber who worked as a guide for Alaska Mountaineering School in Talkeetna when he wasn’t making money as a carpenter. Soderstrom’s father, Gary, said his son spent most of his life in the wilderness or living on the edge of it. Friends described the younger Soderstrom as warm, kind and tireless.”I think anybody will tell you that’s Johnny’s about the best man they ever met,” his father said.


This scholarship fund is maintained through the hard work of volunteers running fund raising events, and by the generosity of donors. We thank each and every one who gives, keeping this fund sustainable.