NEWTOWN, Conn –-(Ammoland.com)- Through its annual essay contest for employees of Voting Member companies and their family members, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has awarded $60,000 in scholarship funds to 25 students.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.
“These essays reminded us time and again what an excellent grasp students have on issues affecting firearm ownership in America and the future of target shooting and hunting,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF Director of Member Services.
“This scholarship program allows NSSF to recognize its Voting Member companies for their extraordinary commitment to their trade association.”
To earn one of the 25 scholarships offered, employees of NSSF Voting Member companies or their qualified family members submitted applications and essays on one of two topics–“Perception vs. Reality in the Gun Control Debate” and “How would you retain, expand and diversify participation among women, minorities, etc?”
Earning the Grand Prize $8,000 scholarship was Katherine Lynn Hendrie, whose father is an employee at Remington Arms. Katherine, who earned the runner-up prize in last year's contest, is an aspiring teacher at the University of Kentucky, where she will begin her junior year this fall. Her winning essay on the topic of Perception vs. Reality focused on the importance of words and their meanings in the gun-control debate and on separating emotion from facts in that debate.
“[Gun control advocates] abuse of the term ‘common sense' with respect to gun legislation is not common sense to everyone,” she wrote.
Taking the First Prize scholarship of $5,000 was Ian M. Murphy, whose father works at Sturm Ruger. Also writing on the Perception vs. Reality theme, Ian stressed the importance of providing facts about firearms issues directly to voters through targeted advertising and social media. Ian will be a freshman at the Oregon Institute of Technology.
Earning the Second Prize scholarship of $3,000 was Megan Marie Eubanks, whose father works at Olin/ Winchester. Megan will be a sophomore at the University of Mississippi.
In addition to Remington, Sturm Ruger and Olin/Winchester, other NSSF Voting Member companies associated with scholarship winners are ATK, Fiocchi of America, Hodgdon Powder, O.F. Mossberg, St. Marks Powder, Beretta, ODI/Stag Outdoor Products and Smith & Wesson.
Twenty-two other students earned $2,000 scholarships. They are Kimber Lynn Pittman, ATK; Kimberly Shannon Swafford, Fiocchi of America; Dillon Randall Pierson, ATK; Keith Thomas Reesor, Remington Arms; Christian Joi Curtis, Hodgdon Powder; Mubasshirabanu Nhora, O.F. Mossberg; Joe William Dunn, St. Marks Powder; Nathan Chase Kunz, ATK; Erika Louise Addison, ATK; Ricki Michele Burnett, ATK; Frederick William Stern, Beretta; Chad Williams Weeks, Olin/Winchester; Jamie Lynn Miglionico, ATK; Mark Austin Shaw, ODI/Stag Outdoor Products; Rachel Elise Papendick, Olin/Winchester; Michael C. Lepage, Smith & Wesson; Rachel M. Munford, ATK; Casey Alvin Thebeau, Olin/Winchester; Vanessa Lin Howlett, ATK; Christina Lynn Perniciaro, ATK; John Zachary Pezzillo, Sturm Ruger; and Leah Christine Haas, St. Mark's Powder.
NSSF makes the scholarships available as a means of thanking its Voting Members for their substantial financial support of NSSF and its mission to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports.
Samantha Hughes, NSSF's Member Services Coordinator, manages the Voting Member Scholarship Award Contest. “The quality of the writing and the attention to details in support of arguments seem to improve every year,” said Hughes. “It makes all of us at NSSF feel good to see these students honored through the NSSF Voting Member Scholarship Program.”
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 more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.