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August 5, 2011

NSSF Awards Scholarships to 22 Essay Writers for Works on Hunting, Shooting and Second Amendment


NSSF has awarded $25,000 in scholarship funds to winners in its annual essay contest for employees of NSSF Voting Member companies and their family members.

The top two essays focused on a father helping his daughter get started in the shooting sports and on a real-life scenario involving home protection and the meaning of the Second Amendment.

More than 50 employees of NSSF Voting Member companies or their qualified family members submitted applications and essays on one of four topics offered for consideration for 22 scholarships provided by NSSF. NSSF makes the scholarships available as a means of thanking Voting Members for their substantial financial support of NSSF and its efforts to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.

“We take great pleasure in awarding these scholarships because they recognize not only our Voting-Member companies but also young people who express so well what the freedom to hunt and shoot means to them personally and to our country,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of membership services. “The judges were quite impressed with this year’s entries.”

Taking the Grand Prize in the essay-evaluation process, and thus earning a $3,000 scholarship, was University of Michigan’s Rachel Papendick, whose father Rick is an employee of Olin Corporation/Winchester Ammunition. Rachel’s well-written essay recalls her introduction to the shooting sports, her frustrations and disappointments, and the loving encouragement provided by her father. Said one judge, “Engaging. The writer provides many good details of her learning experience. Well done!”

Taking the First Prize and earning a $2,000 scholarship was Dayna Stevenson, who attends Westminster College. Her father, Kenton R. Stevenson, works for ATK. Dayna’s essay recounts a frightening incident in which potential home intruders were deterred thanks to the presence of a firearm in the home. Said one judge, “The writer recalls this dramatic, real-life experience using taut, spare language. Thrilling.”

Students were invited to choose from four essay topics: Why Hunting is Important to Rural Businesses; Social Media and the Outdoor World; Prime Time–Families Enjoying the Outdoors Together; and The True Meaning of the Second Amendment.

Twenty other students earned $1,000 scholarships. View the entire list of scholarship winners and read the excellent essays submitted by the top two finishers and two of the runners-up.