The National Rifle Association has selected Danielle Makucevich from Akron, Ohio, and a member of the University of Akron’s rifle team to receive its 2018 Outstanding Achievement Youth Award. Danielle will receive a plaque along with a $5,000 check during the NRA Board Meetings.
In her essay, Danielle wrote, “What haven’t the shooting sports taught me?” Having parents that are both competitive rifle shooters has certainly given her an insight into the sport. She made her debut at Camp Perry at 10 weeks old. Spending lots of time at the range, her first words were “gun,” and her first sentence was “open bolt.”
Danielle had many role models, people she saw that were champions who were confident enough to help others to become better shooters. Sharing potato chips with Lones Wigger, getting hugs from Michael Anti, or having the opportunity to lie on the line and help coach Edie Fleeman on the Randle Team has shaped this young woman into the outstanding athlete and amazing student with a 4.0 GPA.
Danielle has numerous national records and has competed in many Junior Olympics. With all of this, she has still found time to volunteer at Friends of the NRA Banquets, help Wounded Warriors, and help teammates to become better shooters. Danielle is an NRA Level 1 Coach, which comes in handy when she helps coach for various matches and teams.
Danielle has had her challenges, too. She had to undergo surgery to her left elbow, which was her support elbow. Doctors and surgeons told her that was the end of her shooting career. Danielle did not let that stop her; she retrained herself to become a left-handed shooter so she could use her right elbow as her support. With lots of willpower and therapy, she is now a lefty and competing with her university team, the Akron Zips, and spending a summer going from match to match, ending the season with the National Smallbore Matches at Bristol, Indiana.
Danielle is currently focusing on her education and admittance to a doctorate of physical therapy program. “Perseverance is the main theme of my shooting career,” Danielle said. “Anything one sets one’s mind to can be accomplished through unrelenting hard work.”