2024 Collegiate Scholarships

USA Climbing is offering two scholarship opportunities to our Collegiate Members:

  • Climbing Ambassador Scholarships
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarships

Both the Collegiate Climbing Ambassador Scholarship and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship are an opportunity for competitors to demonstrate how they have become an ambassador for the sport of climbing and how they make climbing a more inclusive space.

USA Climbing will be awarding $3,000 in scholarships: first place $1,000 and second place $500 for each scholarship.

The winners were selected from an exceptional candidate pool who submitted resumes, essay and participated in a Zoom interview with the selection committee. Congratulations to all of our winners! We are honored to have you as part of our collegiate climbing community.

Climbing Ambassador Scholarship Winners

First Place: Carmela Murphy
School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC)

“I am so extremely excited and honored to win the Climbing Ambassador Scholarship. When I started SAIC Climbing Club my sophomore year, I had no idea how much friendship, love, and joy it would bring me and my community. Leading my club and coaching the team has been the most rewarding part of my college experience. I have made friends who feel like family and grew into myself as a leader. USA Climbing has been a part of my life for over 10 years, and I feel so grateful I could share the joy and community of competing with my school of passionate and creative artists.”

Second Place: Anjali Sehra
University of Southern California

“I feel honored to represent USA Climbing in making meaningful strides and positive progress in collegiate climbing. As a ten year competitive climber, I am filled with immense gratitude to be part of the leaders of change and reform that help shape the events and community we so dearly cherish. I am excited to help transform U.S. Collegiate Climbing into a place of complete acceptance, support, and accessibility. Your actions make expressive differences, and we want to hear your voices!”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Scholarship Winners

First Place: Leila DeSchepper
Stanford University

“Thank you so much for the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion scholarship – it means a lot to me. It’s been such a joy to organize the Women’s Climbing Festival at Stanford for the past three years and to watch it grow into a two-day event that brings over 100 people together for a weekend of climbing, clinics, and celebrating the many incredible women in Stanford’s climbing community. I also want to recognize everyone at Stanford and beyond who has helped to make this event a reality, along with the many other DEI-related events at Stanford — queer climbing nights and FLI (first-generation and low-income) student climbing nights being just two other examples. None of this would have happened without you all, and I feel so lucky to be a part of such an amazing and supportive climbing community!”

Second Place: Gideon Bennett
Tufts University

“Climbing has become one of the most important, fulfilling, and exciting parts of my life and I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should have the opportunity to experience that same joy. Climbing has gifted me with lifelong friends, an amazing community, and mental and physical strength. However, due to the high barrier of entry, climbing is not accessible to everyone. As the captain of the Tufts Climbing Team, dismantling those barriers has been the crux of my efforts to make my climbing community a more inclusive space. I am truly honored and deeply grateful to have been chosen as a recipient of this award, and I look forward to continuing to give back to a community that has given so much to me.”