The Paul Cuthbertson Foundation is accepting applications for the third edition Living For Those Who Cannot Scholarship until the end of this week. The scholarship is designed for young people between the ages of 13 and 25 who have deep ties to a Colorado mountain community and demonstrate a passion for the pursuit of excellence in sports, education, music, or the arts. Applications close Saturday, April 30.
The scholarship was established in honor of Paul Cuthbertson, a permanent resident of Eagle and Summit counties who passed away on May 19, 2019the day after his 21st birthday, after injuring himself while skiing and hiking 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 philosophy “Live for those who cannot” after losing friends and family before his time, and had the phrase tattooed on his arm.
His father, Mike Cuthbertson, said the scholarship is designed to provide resources for motivated young people, like Paul, to pursue their goals and embody the philosophy in his memory.
“There are so many exceptional kids out there, and a lot of them don’t have the means to pursue their dreams and aspirations, so we’re trying to help,” said Mike Cuthbertson.
The Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship is unique in that it extends up to 25 years and supports ambitions of all kinds. Betsy Cuthbertson said the family had identified a young adult gap among other scholarships and wanted to provide support for young people still settling 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 got 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 particularly at this mountain community, where the kids are very busy in high school…they don’t always know what their dreams are, what their passion is and what they really want to focus on, because they don’t have Did not have time.”
In the online application formScholarship applicants write an application for an amount between $500 and $5,000 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 dedication to achieving excellence” means to you
The open nature of the applications leaves room for all types of passions, which Betsy Cuthberston says reflects her son’s diverse interests.
“He was playing piano, he was acting, he was playing guitar – he didn’t just ski race,” Betsy Cuthbertson said. “That was his goal, but as he got older he realized how important it was for your mind to be able to read and be in the arts.”
Mike Cuthbertson emphasized that the scholarship is designed to fill gaps in the current scholarship landscape in mountain communities.
“One of the gaps was age, and the other thing that we missed was not a lot of people doing anything with music and the arts,” Mike Cuthbertson said. “A lot of scholarships are based on competitive sports, and few people do much beyond that. So we’re trying to fill in some gaps.
So far, the Paul Cuthbertson Foundation has distributed $23,250 to 16 recipients – eight in the 2019 round and eight in the 2021 round. The scholarships range from $500 to $5,000, depending on need and proposed use.
Last year, scholarships were awarded to young people pursuing a wide variety of goals – professional videography, college studies, competitive snowboarding and skiercross, and Broadway comedy, 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 as a professional ballet dancer and said the scholarship helped her pay for pointe shoes and summer training programs.
“The mission resonated with me because it encourages the pursuit of passion,” Petrowski said. “I have always dreamed of dancing in a professional ballet company and I am very grateful to have the support to continue my ballet studies.”
She said she was delighted to find a scholarship aimed at supporting young people in the arts and confirmed that the Paul Cuthbertson Foundation fills a much needed gap in the Valley.
“I absolutely noticed a lack of scholarships in mountain towns,” Petrowski said. “Participation in traditional athletics is significantly more common in the Valley than participation in dance and other performing arts, so there is a definite lack of resources for arts students.”
Audrey Crowley, 15, of Eagle, received a scholarship to attend the ski racing camp in Mt. Hood, Oregon last summer. Crowley was the 2021 U.S. Para National Champion in Slalom and Giant Slalom, and is currently working to qualify for the U.S. Paralympic Team, as well as the Para World Cup.
Crowley, who attends the Vail Ski & Snowboard Academy, said the summer training helped develop the relationships and fundamentals that will be essential to achieving her goals in future competitive seasons.
“It helped me a lot because it was the second time I was with the coaches I had all year. It’s like extra time where I got to know them and they learned to know me,” Crowley said. “Without the foundation, we wouldn’t have been able to afford it, because skiing is already, like, a very expensive sport, and then summer training is even more so.”
The Living for Those Who Cannot philosophy also resonated with Crowley and gave him motivation, as it did with Paul.
“I think that’s a really good message, and it pushes me to do things every day,” Crowley said. “Instead of sitting in bed or staring at my phone, I ski and do things that not everyone gets the chance to do, but I can help others get to where they can have the opportunity to do so.”
The Cuthbertsons believe that helping mountain youth achieve their goals is the first step in a broader impact the foundation will have on Colorado’s mountain towns.
“We are looking for people who will grow and give back to their respective communities,” said Betsy Cuthbertson. “I’ve discovered in my life that when you have a child who is passionate about the mountains, they are the ones who are going to give back to the mountains. These are the people who are going to join the boards of directors, these are the people who want to involved in their community.
The couple plan to continue to develop the foundation in the years to come and to increase the amount of money distributed each year. Last October, the foundation held its first fundraiser at the Zino Ristorante in Edwards and is in the process of offering other fundraising events. Direct donations can be made on 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,” said Betsy Cuthbertson.
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 email@example.com.
For those wishing to apply for the 2022 Live For Those Who Cannot Scholarship, you will find more information and an online application form at ThePaulCuthbertsonFoundation.org.