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July 22, 2019

NSSF Congratulates 2019’s Patron Member Scholarship Winners

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation®(NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has chosen the winners of its 2019 Patron Member Scholarship Contest (formerly Voting Member Scholarship Contest). The annual competition is open to Patron company members, their employees and family members, with a total of $60,000 in college costs awards divided among 25 winners. This year’s contest drew entries from more than 75 rising and current college and university students.

Students had a choice of three trending topics on which to provide an essay:

  • If you could identify and use one method for generating new interest in the shooting sports or hunting among the general public, what would it be?
  • What makes a good mentor and why are mentors important for a good introduction to shooting, hunting and firearms safety?
  • Concerning maintaining Second Amendment rights, why is it important to vote in non-presidential elections?

This year’s Grand Prize winner and recipient of $8,000 is Sean Anthony, whose father, Richard, works for Winchester, LLC­ – Olin Corp. The younger Mr. Anthony, who is a senior attending the University of Akron, selected the topic on mentoring, writing, in part:

“If you were to ask twelve different people the simple question, “What makes a good mentor?”, odds are, you would receive a dozen different answers. On the surface, the reason for this seems simple; the idea of a mentor figure has been around for millennia, and as such, it has taken on many different, nuanced meanings for a diverse range of people. That being said, there are many common threads in these varied definitions of a mentor, primarily regarding certain traits shared by mentor figures, including their trustworthiness and the ability to convey their experiences to another. As such, mentors are an essential part of the learning process, especially for activities with potentially serious consequences if performed irresponsibly.  … Good mentors want the best for those they counsel, and in using their knowledge to carefully introduce effective recreational firearm safety to beginners, mentors can ensure that this American pastime remains both a harmless and pleasant experience for all peoples, for generations to come. Because of these things, when a mentor instructs you to do or to not do something, and explains it to you based on their personal experiences, you are far more likely to take this knowledge to heart, and to really remember it in the future… ”

“By engaging in the learning process with newcomers on a personal and emotional level, a good mentor can ensure that the lessons they wish to impart are taken seriously and readily recalled, and these are most certainly qualities desired of firearm safety. … After all, if everyone engages in firearm activities in a safe, responsible manner, no one is harmed and everyone wins.”

Mr. Anthony’s entire essay may be read here.

First place and $5,000 was awarded to Michigan State University student Madelynne O’Callaghan, whose mother, Christin, is also employed by Winchester, LLC – Olin Corp, while second place and $3,000 was awarded to Aeden Galles, who attends Eastern Washington University and whose father, Donald, works for Vista Outdoor, Inc. Both Ms. O’Callaghan and Mr. Galles selected the topic regarding the importance of voting in non-presidential elections for their essays.Twenty-two other university and college students received the remaining prize money, each receiving $2,000 for their submissions.

“We are extremely proud of all of this year’s essay winners,” said Samantha Hughes, NSSF Manager, Member Services. “All demonstrated a firm grasp of the issues affecting the industry in which their parents work, as well as the larger picture of the place firearms have in today’s society. We wish them the best of success in their studies and sincerely look forward to every contest participant carrying on our mission of promoting, protecting and preserving hunting and the shooting sports.”


About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit


Media contact:
Bill Brassard

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