Scholarship Program


Scholarship Program

Congratulations to our 2024 Scholarship Winner

Autumn Smith

Autumn grew up in the mining town of Ryan where her parents work for the Death Valley Conservancy.

It was fitting for our Board Member, Henry Golas to present her scholarship certificate in the schoolhouse at Ryan.  She has spent her childhood exploring not only the mining town but many areas of Death Valley.  She has been a volunteer and advocate for Death Valley history and preservation.

We wish her all the best on her next journey!

The Board decided to award our second applicant Emily Gent from Pahrump Valley High School a one time scholarship of $250 in recognition of her outstanding academic and community achievements. You have our best wishes for continued success


The Death Valley ’49ers scholarship program provides four-year academic scholarships to eligible students in the Death Valley region. One $16,000 ($4,000 per academic year) scholarship is offered each year to a graduating high school senior. Priority is given to applicants who have a parent or legal guardian who has worked or volunteered within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park for a minimum of two years.


The mission of the scholarship program is to serve families who serve the park. This includes those parents or legal guardians working or volunteering for any of the following:

  • Death Valley Conservancy
  • Death Valley National Park, including Ash Meadows
  • Death Valley Natural History Association
  • Panamint Springs
  • Stovepipe Wells
  • Timbisha Shoshone Tribe
  • Xanterra – The Oasis at Death Valley

When the scholarship program was started in 1976, eligibility was limited to students of Death Valley Academy at Shoshone, Calif. At that time most employee families lived at Cow Creek or Furnace Creek and students were bused to Shoshone. With many employee families now living in adjacent communities, eligibility has been expanded to include students residing at Beatty, Pahrump, Trona, and Shoshone.

Eligibility Requirements

The policy of the Scholarship Program is to award one scholarship each year to a graduating senior who meets the following criteria:

1. RESIDES IN THE REGION of Death Valley National Park.

2. PARENTS OR LEGAL GUARDIAN has been employed or has volunteered within the boundaries of Death Valley National Park for a minimum of two years.

3. FULFILLS ALL STATE AND DISTRICT GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS; having completed junior and senior academic years at any of the following:

  •  Death Valley Academy
  • Beatty High School
  • Trona High School
  • Pahrump Valley High School
  • Online or home school program that is both accredited by the state of residence (California or Nevada) and within one of the above district boundaries

4. SUBMIT A COMPLETED APPLICATION no later than Feb 1 prior to graduation.

If you have questions after review of the scholarship information and/or application please contact:

Woody Adams, Chair
Death Valley ’49ers Scholarship Committee




Expanded Eligibility

If, in a given year, no students apply who meet the above criteria, and if the program will have less than three students concurrently enrolled in the Scholarship Program for the upcoming academic year, eligibility may be expanded at the discretion of the selection committee to include:

1. Students who graduated high school in the previous year and did not already receive an award from this fund, but who otherwise met all other criteria. (First priority.)

2. Graduating seniors who do not have a parent or legal guardian who has worked or volunteered in the park for two years, but who otherwise meet all other criteria. (Second priority.)