Thoreau Scholars navigate a sailboat

Program Overview

Through our undergraduate scholarship program, the Henry David Thoreau Foundation identifies and supports outstanding young leaders from Massachusetts who are committed to safeguarding the environmental welfare of future generations.

Financial Support

Each year, we select a new class of Thoreau Scholars: eight to ten top-ranking high school seniors from Massachusetts who demonstrate the potential for environmental leadership and intend to pursue interdisciplinary environmental studies in college.  Each Thoreau Scholar receives a four-year scholarship of up to $20,000. In addition, Thoreau Scholars are eligible for an environmental internship stipend, which usually takes place between junior and senior year.

Support for Environmental Study

Recognizing that environmental concerns intersect with a wide range of fields—from oceanography to bioterrorism to the design of transportation systems—we encourage students to pursue curricular and professional opportunities that speak to their passions. Students ground their education in environmental studies, taking at least 25% of their coursework in subjects related to the environment. They then forge connections with other disciplines like business, economics, education, public health and policy, resulting in an interdisciplinary understanding of the environmental challenges facing society. Most Thoreau Scholars pursue one or more internships, helping them to better interpret and address environmental challenges through a variety of lenses, whether economic, historical, or socio-political.

The HDT Network

Thoreau Scholars gain access to a dynamic network of current scholars and alumni who study and work around the world, offering tremendous opportunities for professional discovery and personal growth. At our annual reception, the Thoreau Foundation gathers to celebrate the achievements of our Scholars and induct new members of the Henry David Thoreau Society for the Environment (our alumni association). Scholars and alumni also arrange informal mentoring opportunities throughout the year. Through the HDT Network, Thoreau Scholars inspire, challenge and support one another in environmental leadership.

Policy of Nondiscrimination

The Henry David Thoreau Foundation does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or national or ethnic origin in the administration of its scholarship programs, or other Foundation-administered programs and activities. The Board of Trustees of the Henry David Thoreau Scholarship Fund reserves the right to revise or change all policies governing the program.