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Girls go to the head of the class in NSSF essay competition

NEWTOWN, Conn. — Twenty students have each earned $1,000 scholarships for their winning essays in the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Voting Members Scholarship Program.

“NSSF takes great pride in awarding scholarships to these twenty young adults for their well-written essays on topics of importance to hunting, the shooting sports and the firearms and ammunition industry,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of member services. “While these students came out on top this time, NSSF extends its appreciation to all who entered the contest and applauds their knowledge of the shooting sports.”

The program invited students attending college or vocational schools during the 2010-2011 school year who are current employees or family members from NSSF voting member to enter their works. Over 50 students submitted essays that were judged anonymously by an NSSF panel. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry.

NSSF will award $1,000 scholarships to:

Tyson Lee, Leopold & Stevens
Cassandra Shawer, Sig Sauer
Taryn Rose, ATK
Meredith Fallon, ATK
Matthew Buckhalter, St. Mark Powder
Kelly Kennedy, ATK
Chelsea Howe, Olin-Winchester
Michelle Sikora, Beretta USA
Samuel Ellison, Leopold & Stevens
Jessa Stevenson, ATK
Samantha Wattles, Winchester
Kirstie Siercks, Sierra Bullets
Christine Adkins, ATK
Joshua Miller, ATK
Edward Pluhar III, Olin-Winchester
Kellie Skeates, ATK
Jeremy Kennington, ATK
Grace Ramey, Beretta USA
Trina Pantuso, Freedom Arms
Sarah Butler, O.F. Mossberg
Essays were required to be 350 words or less and written on one of four topics concerning hunting and the shooting sports: the importance of the Pittman-Robertson Act’s funding of conservation; the evolution of today’s modern sporting rifle; the history and importance of firearms in today’s society; and shooting as a family activity.

Chelsea Howe chose to write about being initiated into the family hunt. “On this particular day, the family was not on a mission to take down the storied trophy buck. It was time to christen the newest family member in the proper etiquette of what is known as the ‘Howe Family Shoot.’ This was my first chance to participate in this family event that dates back to the early 1960s. I was lucky enough that the young men of the house were about to initiate me into a family ritual that historically may have been considered a boy’s- or men’s-only event.”

Trina Pantuso explained the importance of the Pittman-Robertson Act, which adds an excise tax to the purchase of each new firearm and box of ammunition for the benefit of wildlife conservation. “There’s a delicate balance between the hunters and the hunted. As we have learned, when the balance is tipped too much to one side, the effects can be drastic. Preserving that delicate balance is part of the reason why the Pittman-Robertson Act was created.”

Said Swann, “Voting members have made a substantial financial commitment to their industry’s trade association, and this is one way that NSSF wishes to reward that support.”

Learn more about NSSF voting memberships at www.nssf.org.

  • About The WON

    The Women's Outdoor News, aka The WON, features news, reviews and stories about women who are shooting, hunting, fishing and actively engaging in outdoor adventure. This publication is for women, by women.


The Conversation

  • Gretchen Steele says: July 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

    I agree wholeheartedly and certainly could not say it any better than Melita did!

  • Melita Ellington says: July 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    Barb, this is so exciting to see! The young generation getting involved and having their voices heard is something that needs to be capitalized upon by the outdoor industry, as well as outdoor media. And I’m especially excited about the young women who have stepped up to the plate with an obvious interest in capitalizing on their experiences, as well as finding their voices and forming their own opinions about an issue that today’s society would tend to form for them. Congratulations to all who submitted an essay — it means you care enough to have your voice heard, and that’s how paradigms shift.