For passionate mountain youth in pursuit of excellence, the Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship fills a void
Young people ages 13-25 with connections to a mountain community are invited to apply through Saturday, April 30
The Paul Cuthbertson Foundation is accepting applications for the third annual Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship through the end of this week. The scholarship is designed for young people ages 13-25 who have deep ties to a Colorado mountain community and demonstrate a passion for pursuing excellence in sports, education, music or the arts. Applications close on Saturday, April 30.
The scholarship was established in honor of Paul Cuthbertson, a lifelong resident of Eagle and Summit counties who died on May 19, 2019, the day after his 21st birthday, after sustaining injuries while skiing and hiking on New York Mountain in Eagle County.
Cuthbertson was an avid athlete, as well as a musician, accomplished student and dedicated community servant. He created and lived by the “Live For Those Who Cannot” philosophy after losing friends and family before their time, and had the phrase tattooed on his arm.
His father, Mike Cuthbertson, said that the scholarship is designed to provide resources for driven young people, like Paul, to pursue their goals and embody the philosophy in his memory.
“There are an awful lot of exceptional kids out there, and many of them don’t have the means to pursue their dreams and aspirations, so we’re trying to help,” Mike Cuthbertson said.
The Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship is unique in the fact that it extends up to 25 years of age, and supports ambitions of all kinds. Betsy Cuthbertson said that the family identified a gap for young adults among other scholarships, and wanted to provide support for young people still getting established in their early 20s.
“Maybe you want to be a photographer, and you just want to buy a camera, or you want to go to a special music camp, and the funding has run out,” Betsy Cuthbertson said. “You stood up there at graduation and you got your scholarships, and that’s the end of the road. There is nothing else for you. So we felt, looking especially at this mountain community, where kids are very busy in high school… they don’t always have the ability or resources to pursue their dreams.”
In the online application form, scholarship applicants write in a request for a dollar amount between $500-$5000 and answer four questions:
- Explain what you hope to achieve
- Explain why you need this financial assistance
- Explain how this financial assistance will help you achieve your goals
- Define what “passion for life and a dedication to achieving excellence” means to you
The open-ended nature of application leaves room for all types of passions, which Betsy Cuthberston said reflects her son’s diverse interests.
“He played the piano, he did acting, he played the guitar — he didn’t just ski race,” Betsy Cuthbertson said. “That was his focus, but as he got older he realized how important it was for your mind to read, study, play music, and to be into the arts.”
Mike Cuthbertson emphasized that the scholarship is designed to fill gaps in the existing scholarship landscape in mountain communities.
“One of the gaps was age, and the other thing that we found lacking is not a whole lot of people are doing anything with music and the arts,” Mike Cuthbertson said. “A lot of the scholarships are based on competitive sports, and not many people are doing much with anything beyond that. So we’re trying to fill a couple gaps.”
Thus far, the Paul Cuthbertson Foundation has distributed $23,250 to 16 recipients — eight in the 2019 round and eight in the 2021 round. Scholarships range from $500 to $5000, depending on need and proposed use.
Last year, scholarships were awarded to young people pursuing a wide variety of goals — professional videography, attending college, competitive snowboarding and skiercross, and acting on Broadway, among others.
Taylor Petrowski, an Eagle County native, is currently a sophomore at the University of Oklahoma, double majoring in ballet performance and advertising. Petrowski is training to be a professional ballet dancer, and said the scholarship helped her to pay for pointe shoes and summer training programs.
“The mission resonated with me because it encourages pursuing passion,” Petrowski said. “I have always dreamed of dancing in a professional ballet company, and I’m so grateful to have the support to continue my ballet education.”
She said that she was excited to find a scholarship that was aimed at supporting young people in the arts, and confirmed that the Paul Cuthbertson Foundation is filling a much-needed gap in the valley.
“I have absolutely noticed a lack of scholarships in mountain towns,” Petrowski said. “Participation in traditional athletics is definitely more common in the valley than participation in dance and other performing arts, so there is a definitive lack of resources for students in the arts.”
15-year-old Audrey Crowley of Eagle was awarded a scholarship to attend ski racing camp at Mt. Hood, Oregon, last summer. Crowley was the 2021 Para US National Champion in both slalom and giant slalom, and is currently working to qualify for the US Paralympic Team, as well as the World Cup Para race.
Crowley, who attends the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, said that the summer training helped to develop the relationships and fundamentals that will be critical for attaining her goals in upcoming competition seasons.
“It helped a lot, because it was the second time I’ve been with the coaches that I had for the whole year. It’s like extra time where I got to know them and they got to know me,” Crowley said. “Without the foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it, because skiing is already a really expensive sport, and then summer training is even more.”
The Live For Those Who Cannot philosophy also resonated with Crowley and gave her motivation, just as it had for Paul.
“I think it’s a really good message, and it drives me to do things every day,” Crowley said. “Instead of just sitting in my bed or like, watching my phone, I ski and I do things that not everyone has the opportunity to do, but I can help other people get to the place where they can have the opportunity to do that.”
The Cuthbertsons believe that helping mountain youth to achieve their goals is the first step in a larger impact that the foundation will have on mountain towns throughout Colorado.
“We’re looking for people that are going to grow up and give back to their respective communities,” Betsy Cuthbertson said. “I have found in my life that when you have a kid that is passionate about the mountains, they’re the people that are going to give back to the mountains. They’re the people that are going to join the boards, they’re going to be the people that want to be involved in their community.”
The couple plans to continue expanding the foundation in years to come, and growing the amount of money that is distributed annually. Last October, the foundation held its first fundraiser at Zino Ristorante in Edwards, and is in the process of coming up with additional fundraising events. Direct donations can be made at the foundation’s website.
“It’s here to stay, it’s here to grow, it’s here to help the community and the mountain youth,” Betsy Cuthbertson said.
The Paul Cuthbertson Foundation is currently looking for new board members, as well as volunteers to help evolve into the future. For more information on how to get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those interested in applying for the 2022 Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship, more information and an online application form can be found at ThePaulCuthbertsonFoundation.org.