In 2017, my mentors told us about the Iowa Honey Producers Association’s Youth Scholarship program. Bethany and I talked about it and decided to apply for the program. The winners of the scholarship receive everything to get started in beekeeping including a beginners hive kit, protective gear, a hive tool, and smoker. The winners also get mentored for a year by a local beekeeper. We would also get a 3 pound package of bees free. One of the criteria for receiving the scholarship is that you cannot have any relatives with honey bees. Because of this rule, only one of us would win the scholarship. Applicants must also be between the ages of thirteen and seventeen and be enrolled in some form of school.
We printed, filled out, and mailed the application in June. Filling out the application was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Along with the application, one of our parents had to fill out a waiver and we had to get two letters of recommendation. Now we had to wait until October to find out if either of us had won.
Here we are ready to send out our applications.
In October, the youth scholarship coordinator called to tell me that I was a finalist. As a finalist, I would have to attend part of IHPA’s annual conference and get interviewed. I will write about this in a future post.
If you are interested in beekeeping or a young person you know is interested in beekeeping, you should see if your state beekeeping association has a program similar to the IHPA’s Youth Scholarship Program and apply for it. Youth scholarship programs like the IHPA’s are great ways to get started in beekeeping.