2024 Award Recipients
One More Day on the AT is proud to announce the 2024 thru-hike scholarship recipients, Preston Jones, Bob Detzel, and Edward Amadoro.
Preston Jones – 2024 Full Scholarship
Preston, an aspiring adventurer, seeks healing and self-discovery through thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Driven by a desire to overcome past traumas, he views nature as a therapeutic sanctuary. With each step on the trail, Preston aims to forge a deep connection with the outdoors while networking with like-minded individuals. His ultimate goal is to leverage these experiences to establish a career in conservation or the outdoor adventure industry, combining his passion for nature with a commitment to preserving it for future generations.
Bob Detzel – 2024 Partial Scholarship
Fairfield Township, OH
Bob has dreamed of hiking the Appalachian Trail since he was a teenager. Then life’s wheel took over. A twenty-year career in the Marine Corps, followed by several other occupations, marriage, and family. He finds himself, at 71, retired, partially blind from a stroke, unable to drive and still trying to hike the AT. Because of his own stubbornness and his addiction to work he lost all his friends. He plans on using the six to seven months gifted by “One More Day on the Appalachian Trail” to learn again how to make and maintain new friends and continue to bask in his family’s love.
Eddie & Alexandria Amadoro
2024 Partial Scholarship
Eddie will be hiking the Appalachian Trail with his 14-year-old daughter, Alexandria. This journey is not only about spending time with her but also a quest for healing. As a child, he endured horrific abuse and abandonment, leading to a lifelong battle with anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, challenges he still faces today. Additionally, he has struggled with drug abuse and alcoholism throughout his life He credits the birth of his daughter as providing him the strength to overcome these struggles. As a father, his deepest desire for this journey is that by the end, his daughter can see herself through his eyes – an amazing, beautiful, and powerful person that is capable of conquering life’s challenges.
2023 Award Recipient
One More Day on the AT is proud to announce the 2023 thru-hike scholarship recipient, Mary Wilson, from Arlington, VA. Mary hopes to become the first blind woman to complete a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Through her hike, she wants to continue her disability advocacy work by showing the world what disabled people are capable of achieving when given the opportunity.
Mary Wilson – 2023 Full Scholarship
One More Day on the AT is proud to announce the 2023 thru-hike scholarship recipient, Mary Wilson, from Arlington, VA. She, along with her guide dog Thor, hopes to become the first blind woman to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail.
2022 Award Recipients
The selection committee is pleased to announce our 2022 award recipients for the One More Day on the AT: Nate Loftis Memorial Thru-Hike Scholarship. We had intended to offer one award but were inundated with applications and inspiring stories of courage and resilience. We have decided to offer one full scholarship and two half-scholarships this inaugural year. In addition, we awarded smaller gifts to two candidates. The 2022 awards are presented to:
Adam Dube – 2022 – Full Scholarship
Adam has been in recovery for the past year. He struggled with substance use disorder for 12 years and overcame many adversities such as homelessness, the death of friends, and his family shunning him. While in treatment a year ago, he decided that he wanted to backpack across America. When he got out of treatment he began dating a hiking enthusiast and he fell for her and the hiking lifestyle.
Justin Tucker – 2022 – Partial Scholarship
My name is Justin Tucker and my pronouns are he/him/his. I’m 29 years old and was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. Though I was a very athletic kid who played multiple sports, I was never encouraged to do more exploring outdoors, and therefore was a complete stranger to activities such as hiking and camping while growing up.
Mari Jane Kempf – 2022 Partial Scholarship
I’m a 25-year-old woman who left the Amish community, the only life I’ve ever known, after surviving years of abuse from the church. Hiking and being out in nature have always given me fresh perspective. I hope to come back from this hike with clarity on what my next step will be in this new life. I hope to make friends and interact with people from other places and cultures like I was unable to do in the community.
Carly Brunault – 2022 Partial Scholarship
Carly is a working photographer and a teacher. She teaches vocational art and photography, as well as life skills, at a music infused school for young adults with disabilities. She carries with her the scars of having loved and lost an addict, her significant other and life partner of 10+ years and is seeking healing through hiking.