2010 NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award winner Nathan Switzer Thanks to Brett Conners in Youth Programs for this profile of Nathan Switzer, the first place winner of the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award OAYA).

Newport News, Virginia - Nathan Switzer, an 18-year-old from Newport News has earned the top honor along with an award of $5,000 in this year’s OAYA selection. Nathan is a member of the Norfolk County Junior Rifle & Pistol Club, and is affiliated with the Virginia Shooting Sports Association. Switzer competes in both air rifle and air pistol and is more often then not at the top of the leader board. It is not just his skill that has earned him this award, but his dedication to and love of the shooting sports.

More on 2010 OAYA Winner Nathan Switzer ...

Nathan Switzer 2010 OAYA winner Nathan Switzer competes in the 2009 National Junior Air Gun Championship at Camp Perry.

NRA's Youth Programs Department is pleased to announce the winners of the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award, an honor that recognizes the NRA's top three Junior Members for their contributions to shooting sports and their communities, as well as their academic accomplishments. A total of $10,000 is awarded to the winners courtesy of the NRA Foundation.

The 2010 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award Winners:

  • First Place: Nathan Switzer of Newport News, Virginia - $5,000
  • Second Place: Garrett Walters of Burr Oak, Michigan - $3,000
  • Third Place: Megan Lee of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina - $2,000

All NRA Junior Members (or NRA Regular or Life Members under the age of 21) who are also current members of a NRA-affiliated club or state association, and have completed one NRA Basic Firearm Training Course are eligible for the award. Applicants must have additionally earned at least one rating through the Winchester/NRA Marksmanship Qualification Program, submit three letters of recommendation, provide a copy of their school transcript, and write a 1,000 word essay entitled, “What the Shooting Sports have Taught Me.”

In addition to these core requirements, applicants must also participate in at least five NRA-sponsored programs. These elective requirements may include, but are not limited to, presenting the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, attending the Youth Education Summit, competing in the Youth Hunter Education Challenge, participating in the National Matches at Camp Perry, or attending an NRA Day event.

Applications for next year’s Outstanding Achievement Youth Award are due to NRA Headquarters no later than May 1, 2011. Following this year's awards, the maximum age for applicants has been increased to 21 to include college students participating in the shooting sports. For more information on the Outstanding Achievement Youth Award, click here or contact NRA’s Youth Programs Department by calling (703) 267-1505. Check back with NRAblog for profiles of each of our winners.

Inside the Albuquerque Convention Center, there is no sound of compressed air leaving the barrel of rifles, but instead the quiet and focus of competitors learning in the classroom. Today the shooters get a break from competition to participate in the Training Summit, which is half a day of classroom lecture. 

The Training Summit covers a variety of topics geared towards young competitors. Up first was Marcus Raab, NRA National Coach Trainer (Rifle), who spoke about proper nutrition for athletes (pictured above).

"How many of you ate a proper breakfast this morning?" asked Raab as just a few hands shot up in the crowd.

Next, National Coach Development Staff member and well-known rifle coach John Crossman addressed the mental aspects of shooting to increase focus and discipline. Sheri Judd with NRA's Youth Programs Department took to the podium next to fill competitors in on all of the shooting programs NRA offers for young people, as well as scholarship programs such as the Outstanding Achievement Youth Award.   

Finally, Tori Croft, Manager of NRA's Collegiate Shooting Program, talked to competitors about the opportunities to shoot on a college team and earn college scholarships for shooting. 

Shooters then have the afternoon off to sightsee in Albuquerque and rest up for the final day of shooting tomorrow. Check back with NRAblog as we provide live coverage of the competition and update scores from the 2010 NRA National Junior Air Gun Championship.  

Here is our third and final Outstanding Achievement Youth Award Winner. Check out third place finisher Samuel Fowler:

Samuel Fowler Seventeen-year-old Samuel Fowler from Orchard Park, New York, took third place and earned a $2,000 scholarship. Fowler is an NRA Life Member and also a member of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association.

As a Smallbore Rifle shooter, Fowler has competed in the National Matches at Camp Perry for the past three years.

In addition to his achievements as a competitive shooter, Fowler is also an exemplary student who volunteers at a local Friends of NRA dinner.

Do you know of a young man or woman who would be a candidate for the Outstanding Achievement Youth Award? Learn about the requirements and how to apply for the 2010 competition.

Here is the second of our three profiles on the winners of the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award. Take a look at Tanner Brooks:

Tanner Brooks Second place and a $3,000 scholarship were awarded to eighteen-year-old Tanner Brooks of Walkerton, Indiana. Brooks is a member of the Indiana State Rifle & Pistol Association and had placed first in several competitions, including the Indiana State Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) Championships and the National SCTP Skeet Championships.

In 2008, Brooks was selected to attend the NRA’s Youth Education Summit (YES) in Washington, D.C., and also traveled to the NRA Annual Meeting in Louisville, Kentucky.

In his community, Brooks helped teach children about firearms safety by presenting the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program to numerous elementary schools.

We've still got one more profile, so check back with NRAblog to learn about the third place Outstanding Achievement Youth Award winner.

Collin Wietfeldt Here is the first of three profiles on the winners of the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award. Let's kick things off with our first place winner: 

Eighteen-year-old Collin Wietfeldt of Hemlock, Michigan, took first place in the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award and will receive $5,000 scholarship. Wietfeldt’s impressive shotgun skills earned him spots on the 2009 U.S. World Championship Shotgun Team, the U.S. National Development Team, and on the 2009 ATA All-American Junior Trapshooting Team.

Wietfeldt recently returned from the Shotgun World Championships, held August 7-16 in Maribor, Slovenia, where he earned a silver medal as a member of the Men’s Junior Trap Team and finished in 7th place as an individual. Earlier this month, Wietfeldt took first place in the Trap Championships at the 2009 Shotgun Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In addition to his shooting skills, Wietfeldt is also very active in his school and community. At Hemlock High School, Wietfeldt is a member of the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), the CPR Team, and is a regular name on the Honor Roll. Wietfeldt’s community involvement includes being an active member, volunteer, and coach with the Saginaw Field and Stream Club, serving as a coach for the Scholastic Clay Target Program, and as a frequent blood donor, being presented with the Donor For Life Award in 2008. In addition, Wietfeldt has participated in the Michigan State Youth Hunter Education Challenge and NRA Advanced Shotgun Camps.

Just last week, Wietfeldt accepted an offer to become a resident athlete at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He has sinced moved to Colorado to begin his training and has enrolled at the University of Colorado. Congratulations, Collin, on all of your recent achievements!

Keep checking back with NRAblog for profiles of more Outstanding Achievement Youth Award winners.

Three of the NRA's top Junior Members have been selected to receive the 2009 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award, recognizing their accomplishments in the community, the classroom, and the shooting sports. A total of $10,000 in scholarship money is awarded to the winners thanks to the generosity of Brownell’s.

2009 Oustanding Achievement Youth Award Winners:

  • 1st Place: Collin Wietfeldt of Hemlock, Michigan - $5,000
  • 2nd Place: Tanner Brooks of Walkerton, Indiana - $3,000
  • 3rd Place: Samuel Fowler of Orchard Park, New York - $2,000

“Reviewing the applications for the 2009 Outstanding Youth Achievement Award made me very proud of all of the candidates, and speaks to the tremendous effect that the shootings sports and NRA programs has on young people. The shooting sports community gives so freely of their time, money, and most importantly their mentorship; not just to these three winners, but to all youth involved in their programs,” said Larry Quandahl, Manager of NRA’s Youth Programs Department.

Applications for next year’s Outstanding Achievement Youth Award are due to NRA Headquarters no later than May 1, 2010. For more information on the Outstanding Achievement Youth Award, please contact NRA’s Youth Programs Department by calling (703) 267-1505 or visit their website to learn more about the requirements and application process.

Check back with NRAblog for profiles on each of the top three award winners!

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