by Brent Hinchcliff, 2017 YES Participant - Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The NRA Foundation is celebrating #GivingTuesday 2017 by supporting the NRA’s Youth Education Summit Scholarship Fund with a five-week fundraising campaign. Leading up to the big day, we will be highlighting the positive impact that the NRA Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) and it’s participants have on their communities, our country and the world. Starting on Tuesday, October 24, we’ll be sharing stories of our Y.E.S. alumni, by Y.E.S. alumni. Each Tuesday until #GivingTuesday on November 28, tune in to read one individual’s inspiring story of giving. We hope you’ll join us in recognizing these remarkable young men and women and think of these leaders when making your #GivingTuesday donation. 100% of your contribution funds NRA’s Youth Education Summit Scholarship Fund.
More than six years ago, Amanda Krpan of Gainesville, Fla., joined the Youth Education Summit class of 2011 for a life-changing week in Washington, D.C. Reflecting on the experience and where it has taken her in the years since, Amanda still stresses how greatly the program impacted her view of the country and world around her.
"The Youth Education Summit was a real eye opener for me," Amanda shares. "As high school students, our focus is very narrow, very self-centered. The days spent in Washington, D.C., showed me that we all must work together and give back to make our communities and our country the best they can be. When I returned to Gainesville from Y.E.S., I was highly motivated. This motivation carried me through high school, college and into my current career."
That motivation also led to Amanda's continued involvement with NRA programs and other volunteer efforts. In the year following her Y.E.S., she put on three Women On Target® shooting clinics, spoke at local Friends of NRA banquets, joined her local Friends of NRA committee, and taught the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program to more than 200 children in her county of Alachua. With that portfolio of community service activities, Amanda applied to and was awarded a follow-up scholarship for Y.E.S. alumni known as the Grand Scholarship.
The Y.E.S. scholarship money that Amanda earned in high school helped support her education at the University of Florida, where she became an active and successful leader on campus. While majoring in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology and minoring in Leadership and Business, she participated in the co-ed pre-professional fraternity Phi Epsilon Kappa and the College of Health and Human Performance (HHP) Student College Council, and acted as a College of HHP Ambassador.
At the same time Amanda also became heavily involved in her college area's Friends of NRA, National Wild Turkey Federation, and Coastal Conservation Association committees. She soon graduated summa cum laude with honors and continued to share the story of her Y.E.S. experience. "The NRA was not only a huge part in funding my education, but was the motivation behind everything I was involved in," Amanda emphasizes.
Soon after graduating she was hired as the Campaign Manager for a Florida State Representative she met at the local banquet where he was impressed by Amanda's volunteer work in her community. "This was an awesome experience and one I will treasure always," Amanda notes.
Growing up in Florida, Amanda was often on the water enjoying the outdoors and activities from recreational fishing to kayaking and scuba diving. "I know the importance of our waters and the rights of those who enjoy them," she says.
After volunteering in support of fundraising and coastal cleanup efforts with the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) for three years, Amanda jumped at the chance to apply when a Regional Director position opened. Despite being young and still fresh out of college, her extensive volunteer work and experience in planning events earned her the position.
As the Panhandle Region Director for the grassroots CCA organization, Amanda plans dinner banquets similar to those of Friends of NRA to raise money to conserve, promote, and enhance the present and future availability of coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public - and to protect the rights of those who enjoy those natural resources. Amanda also plans fishing tournaments, women's fishing clinics, educational speaking engagements and habitat building and reconstructing projects.
As a young professional, Amanda continues to demonstrate the service and dedication to protecting America's rights and traditions that earned her a place in the Y.E.S. program. When asked if her experience from the program was valuable she answered with an emphatic "Y.E.S.!"
"I believe that the program motivates everyone in some way," Amanda writes. "Maybe that motivation is to become a leader, maybe it steers you in a new career direction, maybe it makes you look at the world a little different."
The NRA Y.E.S. program had a significant effect on the pathway of Amanda's life and has made similar impacts on hundreds of other youth around the nation. In closing, Amanda summed up every Y.E.S. alumnus' thoughts towards the program: "I will always be grateful for what it did for me."
Create your own story of giving! Turn your intention into action and say “YES” to Y.E.S. by making a donation today at www.friendsofnra.org/Donate. 100% of your contribution made here to The NRA Foundation funds NRA’s Youth Education Summit Scholarship Fund. Through participation in the Y.E.S. program, students compete for $55,000 in college scholarships. That’s where you come in! Help us support the young men and women who will Lead the Legacy of freedom into the future. Visit www.friendsofnra.org/GivingTuesday today for more information, and invest in the next generation of Second Amendment champions.