The GCA Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Getting to Know The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship encourages studies and careers in the environmental field, providing opportunities for experience beyond the regular course of study. “The Higgins” was established in 1964 by Clara Carter Higgins of the Worcester Garden Club. It is open to undergraduate students.

In 1990, responsibility for The Higgins passed from the GCA Conservation Committee to the GCA Scholarship Committee. Given the success of the Higgins and the increasing interest in environmental issues, the Scholarship Committee created and endowed another summer environmental studies award, The Garden Club of America Awards for Summer Environmental Studies. Today, there are five Summer Environmental Studies awards. 

GCA annually awards one or more $3,000 Higgins Scholarships for summer coursework. Applications are reviewed by the Scholarship Committee with final selections being made by the committee at the March business meeting. Since its inception 56 years ago, over 220 Higgins scholarships have been given. 

In 2022, the Higgins Scholarship recipient was awarded to Jacklyn Marie Alsbro. 

A senior at Michigan State University majoring in Environmental Studies and Sustainability with a minor in STEPP (Science, Technology, Environment, and Public Policy), Jacklyn served as a natural resource policy intern at Trout Unlimited, a nonprofit committed to care for and recover rivers and streams.  Her internship allowed her to work behind the scenes and witness advocacy in action.  She watched Congressional hearings, took notes, read letters of support and testimonies, tracked bills via Congress Plus, and watched congressional committee hearings, which culminated in an internal research report.