April is a special month in Teens to Trails’ 16-year history.

The nonprofit organization celebrates the birthday of Sara Leone, a Wiscasset high school student who died in a car accident at age 15. Shortly afterward, her parents, Bob and Carol Leone, founded Teens to Trails with the hopes of sharing their daughter’s love of the outdoors with local high school students, according to a news release from the organization.

Today, Teens to Trails provides programming, gear and financial support to 82 middle and high school outdoor clubs across the state. The organization also offers three sophomores the chance to enjoy a free summer adventure through the scholarship named after Sara Leone, and camp partners.

Liz Roman Submitted photo

The 2022 Sara’s Scholarship winners include David Gustin from Winthrop High School, who will experience a five-day backpacking excursion with Rippleffect; Liz Roman, also from Winthrop, who will paddle for five days on Casco Bay with Rippleffect; and Kristopher Edgar from Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, who was awarded a three-week kayaking expedition with Chewonki.

As part of the summer scholarship, the students share stories of their adventures with Teens to Trails. It’s a tradition that Executive Director Alica Heyburn says is a fun way to track the impact these trips have on the winners.

“These experiences inspire a lifelong love of the natural world, they literally expand the horizons of young people influencing lives and careers. It’s a beautiful way to commemorate a young life,” said Heyburn.

To learn more about Teens to Trails and how to contribute funds for future student scholarships, visit teenstotrails.org/donate.