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NSSF Awards $60,000 in scholarships to students

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NEWTOWN, Conn. — AThe National Shooting Sports Foundation®, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, has awarded $60,000 in scholarship funds to 25 students in its annual essay contest for employees of NSSF Voting Member companies and their family members.

“Reading these essays filled us with pride for the way these students expressed the importance of practicing firearm safety and how participating in the shooting sports positively influenced their lives,” said Bettyjane Swann, NSSF director of member services. “The scholarships allow 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: “Discuss how being a target shooter or hunter has positively influenced your life and taught you about responsibility, firearm safety, community and other important values” or “Discuss why safely handling and storing firearms benefits gun owners, their families and the community at large.”

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.

Earning the Grand Prize $8,000 scholarship was Rachel Elise Papendick, whose father is an employee of Olin/Winchester. A University of Michigan junior, Rachel’s essay “Finding The Rhythm” was about how her early experience in the shooting sports taught her valuable lessons about perseverance and success. Rachel wrote, “Because all those years ago I learned more than how to hit a target . . . I learned how to appreciate success, not expect it. I learned how to keep trying even without someone standing behind me.”

Taking the First Prize scholarship of $5,000 was Katherine Lynne Hendrie, whose father works at Remington. A sophomore at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, Katherine’s essay focused on the importance of safe gun handling and storage. Katherine wrote, “When I have an elementary classroom of my own, I will be sure to teach the importance of gun safety and responsibility because positively influencing even one child can save lives and benefit many others down the road.”

Earning the Second Prize scholarship of $3,000 was Catherine Nicole Deocampo, whose father is an employee at Olin/Winchester. She will be a freshman at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Twenty-two other students earned $2,000 scholarships.

In addition to Olin/Winchester and Remington, scholarship winners were affiliated with NSSF Voting Member companies Leupold & Stevens, Beretta, Action Target, St. Mark’s Powder, MKS Supply, Promatic, Comp-Tac, Sturm Ruger, Smith & Wesson, Mossberg, LaPorte America and Fiocchi.

Samantha Hughes, NSSF’s member services coordinator, oversaw the Voting Member Scholarship Award Contest. “We were again impressed with the quality of the essays and thoughtful writing,” said Hughes. “It’s an honor to be involved with this Voting Member Scholarship Program, and I hope to see the number of applications continue to increase.”

Read the top two essays and view the entire list of scholarship winners.

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 more than 8,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to

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