The National Rifle Association has named 18-year-old Zachary Hudson, from Paola, Kansas, to receive its 2002 National Outstanding Achievement Youth Award. The award will be presented at a special ceremony, part of the association's Board of Directors' meeting, in September.
The award recognizes the NRA junior member who best meets standards of excellence in the shooting sports and educational achievements. Core requirements include high academic standing, holding NRA membership and membership in an NRA-affiliated club or state association, completion of an NRA Firearm Training Course, participation in an NRA Marksmanship program, and submission of an essay: "Why I Became Involved in the Shooting Sports."
"We are very pleased to have Zach as the second national NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award Winner," said NRA Youth Programs Department Manager Matt Szramoski. He further stated, "He is the personification of the well rounded sportsman, a competitor, a hunter and a recreational shooter. Zach and the other award winners serve as role models for youth who are becoming involved in the shooting sports and set a standard for them to meet."
Zachary, in addition to meeting the base criteria, is an active competitive shooter in smallbore rifle, holding an expert rating. He is also co-holder of two NRA national records in team air rifle events. He has served as the junior leader and president of his local 4-H shooting club for the past three years. Zachary has also been an avid hunter since the age of 10. He enjoys pursuing deer, quail, and turkey when he is not studying or competing in the shooting sports.
"It is such an honor to receive this award," Zachary said. "I want to express my gratitude to the National Rifle Association, all of my 4-H leaders, shooting coaches and my parents for offering guidance and support to my shooting career."
Zachary's academic achievements are exemplary as well. He was recently awarded a scholarship to the University of Missouri - Kansas City and will compete on their collegiate shooting team. Zachary also speaks on a regular basis about the shooting sports to the Lions Club, American Legion and 4-H. As Zachary wrote in his essay, "With the negative view of shooting cast by certain groups, I feel it is the duty of every person who shoots to set a good example of our sport." He further states, "I do all that I can to play a positive role, and act as a role model."