Jack Linger Explorer Grants

Jack Linger riding bike through mountains

Current or rising 11th or 12th graders who wish to pursue unique, enriching, out-of-the-box learning experiences may apply for financial support in the form of a grant from the Jack Linger Explorers Fund. This fund was established by the Linger family in 2020 in memory of Jack Linger ’20, who rode his bicycle across the United States in search of new perspectives on the major issues facing our country, particularly climate change and the environment. He sought to cross literal and figurative divides as he listened to his fellow citizens. His goal was to develop informed opinions as he prepared to cast his first vote.

The Jack Linger Explorers Fund is intended to support a spirit of physical and/or intellectual adventure and the expansion of personal horizons. Grants may be used to cover tuition, materials, travel expenses, professional expertise, or any other costs associated with a given learning experience. The grant may support a summer project or an Independent Study during the school year.

Current Projects (summer and fall 2023)

Cole Bell ’25: Honoring the Founders of Lacrosse, A Cross-Cultural Exchange

This Jack Linger Explorer Grant will help Cole pursue a cultural exchange for the purpose of thanking the the First Nation communities (Native Americans) who created the game of lacrosse. He will study the origin and history of the game and visit the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to watch their stickball tournament. He also plans to invite Iroquois professional lacrosse player, Lyle Thompson, to speak at Durham Academy. If there is sufficient need for equipment among First Nation boys and girls and desire to play the game, Cole will organize a drive to collect donations of lacrosse/stickball equipment or money to purchase it.

Gil Mebane ’24: Prosthetic Design for a Paraplegic Cat

Gil Mebane will use a Jack Linger Explorer Grant to design and build a pair of mobility devices for Moo, an F5 Savannah cat belonging to DA alumnus Nick Wisner. Moo recently suffered a spinal injury and is now paralyzed from the waist down. The first goal is to create a “cat wheelchair” of sorts in hopes of getting Moo mobile again as quickly as possible. The second is to implement pneumatic shocks that will restore at least part of the seven foot vertical jump that Savannah cats generally have!

Shreya Rao ’25: Empowering the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs in India and The Congo

Shreya Rao will use a Jack Linger explorer Grant to support the creation and marketing of virtual workshops in entrepreneurship for high school students in India and The Congo. The workshops will inspire and equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed to start their own businesses. By fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, the project aims to promote social and economic development, particularly in underserved communities.

How to Apply

Interested students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with Mr. Edwards at any time of year. Proposals should be submitted to him as Google documents, and they should include:

  • title
  • description of the activities and purposes behind them
  • anticipated impact on the individual, community, etc.
  • anticipated expenses and any relevant documentation 
  • faculty advisor if applicable 

Selections are made in the spring by a committee of Upper School faculty members who are appointed by the Head of School. In evaluating applications, the committee looks for a spirit of physical and/or intellectual adventure, expansion of personal horizons, and potential for positive impact on others.