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Youth Essay Contest

SFRED essay winners to visit with Sally Jewell

Winners of a national essay contest will meet with Department of Interior Secretary Sally Jewell this week in Washington D.C.

Essays explaining the importance of public lands to today's youth were judged from around the country. Five winners from Montana, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wyoming and Virginia were chosen and will spend part of the week meeting with Jewell, their own congressional delegation and CEO's of some of the largest conservation organizations in the country.

“America's public lands are one of our nation's greatest treasures. I've worried that the loss of connection with our outdoor heritage imperils these lands,” said Brad Powell, senior policy director of the Sportsmen’s Conservation Project at Trout Unlimited. “Reading the essays of these young hunters and anglers gives me great hope that our public lands will be in good hands in the future."

The winners:

Rebecca Brown, 17, of Conrad, Mont., is a high school senior and the oldest of three sisters. Her father is a schoolteacher and her mother drives the school bus. She is working on obtaining her pilot’s license. Rebecca enjoys hunting, fishing, boating, all types of water sports, snowboarding and hiking. She plans to study mechanical engineering at college in the fall.

Noah Davis, 18, of Tipton, Pa., is a first-year student at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, Pa., where he studies English and plays for the men’s basketball team. He enjoys hunting and fishing, especially fly fishing for native brook trout on small streams. His own writing has been influenced by some of his favorite authors, including Rick Bass, David James Duncan and Aldo Leopold. 

Jarred Kay, 17, of Flagstaff, Ariz, is a senior at Coconino High School, where is an officer for the National Honor Society and on the student council. He plans to study pharmacy at the University of Arizona in the fall. He is an avid hunter and angler who enjoys mountain biking, hiking, skiing and river rafting. Jarred is on the board of directors of Grand Canyon Youth, a nonprofit that offers outdoor education opportunities in the Southwest for students nationwide.

Haley Powell, 17, of Rock Springs, Wyo. Her interests include photography, reading, animals, camping, hiking, fishing and “basically anything outdoors.” She competes in speech and debate at her high school and competed in a national tournament last year. Haley plans to study zoology at the University of Wyoming.

Matthew Reilly, 18, Palmyra, Va. He is a senior at Fluvanna County High School. His father introduced him early to outdoors activities, which he says “shaped my character and ambitions.” Fly fishing is one of his passions. Matthew is an outdoor writer and photographer who produces a weekly column, http://adventuresafield.blogspot.com.


To read the winning essays, visit our blog.

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