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Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship Fund

In support of experiential learning experiences

In 2010, Unity Environmental University became home to the Nicholas Holt Challenge Scholarship Fund, a gift made possible by the Holt family in collaboration with the Maine Community Foundation.

Unity Environmental University was a major interest in Nick Holt’s life. Since 1973, he spent more than twenty years working toward accreditation of its strong environmental teaching program. Nick was an architect, family man, befriender of strangers, Army veteran and marcher on Washington, gunkholer and sailor, and a lover of color, trees and light. His family is pleased to honor his passion and commitment to Unity with this scholarship fund. The purpose of Nick’s Fund is to support juniors and seniors in challenging, experiential learning projects that are self-initiated, curriculum-based and approved by an academic advisor.

Previous Holt Scholarship winners: Shelby Elonis, Stacey Foshay,
Samantha McGarrigle, Ashley Messier, and Gina Zadrozny.

Challenge is paramount to the Fund’s goal because Nick delighted in challenging himself and others to attempt the impossible, to say “I think I can.” Recipients of this scholarship in Nick’s memory will share the thrill of pushing their personal and educational boundaries and their projects must reflect this spirit.

Approximately $10,000 will be distributed annually through this fund. There is no predetermined award amount or number of scholarships to be made annually. However, the fund is typically divided among 2-3 scholarship recipients per year. The intent is to make otherwise impossible projects possible and to cover the expenses of selected projects.

Therefore, eligible students will have the opportunity to apply for funding to support their internship/ experiential learning experience or independent research experience in accordance with the application process below.

How to Apply for the Holt Challenge Scholarship

Eligible students are full-time Unity Environmental University DE or HL students who:

  • Are in good academic standing
  • Receive need-based financial aid
  • Will be juniors or seniors at the time of their proposed project

Eligible projects must be one of the below:

  • Internship or Experiential Learning Program
  • Independent Research Project


For projects duringApplication DueAwards Announced
Summer or Fall 2024Friday, March 22ndFriday, April 5th

Proposal Must Include:

  1. Completed Holt Challenge Scholarship Application that includes a brief description outlining the general timeline, purpose, and goals for your selected project or experience:
    • Internship* or Experiential Learning Program:
      • Description of experience
    • Independent Research Project
      • Project Description
  2. Transcript (Can be an unofficial, paper transcript, but should be up to date)
  3. Essay (Essay criteria in next section)
  4. A detailed budget developed in the Holt Challenge Scholarship budget form. Common expenses will be for travel, materials, access to necessary resources, etc.
  5. Resume
  6. An academic letter of support for the experience from a current or former professor including their recommendation of your academic ability and the efficacy of the experience or project

*Hybrid Learning students should complete the appropriate internship application submission process. The scholarship criteria DOES NOT serve as a substitution for your internship paperwork.

Evaluation Criteria: (Ranked in order of importance, with the most influential criteria at the top)
The strongest proposals will:

  1. Demonstrate a commitment to academic excellence by describing a well-planned learning experience clearly intended to challenge the student to master new knowledge and skills.
  2. Present a project that is distinctive and that bears a meaningful relationship to the student’s post-graduation career and service aspirations.
  3. Describe a growth and learning experience unlikely to be available to the applicant without the support of this scholarship.
  4. Demonstrate a commitment to service by identifying the benefit to others, besides the student, that will result from the project.

Applications should be submitted to Only completed applications will be accepted. All documents should be titled with your first and last name and type of document.

Example: JohnStudent- Application