EDGEFIELD, S.C.—The National Wild Turkey Federation surprised Nicole Croushore of Smithton, Pennsylvania with a $10,000 check for being the winner of the 2021 Dr. James Earl Kennamer Academic Scholarship.
“Hunting has taught me a lot of things; it has taught me patience, good ethics and an appreciation for wildlife and the outdoors, but more importantly, it’s about the people I’ve been with and have grown close to – my pap, my dad and my brother,” Croushore said.
As a recipient of both the NWTF Dr. James Earl Kennamer National Academic Scholarship and the Pennsylvania State Chapter Scholarship, Croushore distinguished herself as a dedicated conservationist, hunter, intellectual and a steward of her community. Throughout her high school career, Croushore has demonstrated academic excellence, making straight A’s throughout her four years and taking many college-level classes.
In addition to her academic prestige, Croushore’s four years of high school were characterized by leadership and extracurricular involvement. To name a few from her impressive resume:
• CAP/Sadd President
• The Future is Mine Secretary
• Robotics Team Treasurer
• National Honors Society Vice President
• French National Honors Society
• YALE Member
• Student Council Member
• Yough Highschool Trap Shooting Team
• Wildlife Leadership Academy
• Yough High School Student of the Month
• Rise Against Hunger Volunteer
• Westmoreland County Food Bank Volunteer
As a longtime member of her local Peter’s Creek NWTF Chapter, Croushore grew up with the NWTF and a deep respect for the outdoors and hunting.
Croushore was awarded both scholarships on a video conference with NWTF staff and Pennsylvania state and local chapter board members.
Prior to announcing her national achievement, Croushore and her family thought they were gathered solely for her to accept the Pennsylvania State Chapter Scholarship, until Mossy Oak’s Cuz Strickland joined the call and congratulated her on her national achievement.
“I know your parents are so proud of you, and we’re proud of you at Mossy Oak,” Strickland said. “That’s why we do this every year. It’s a really big deal because we firmly believe the harder you work, the luckier you get. So, congratulations from me, Toxy and everybody at Mossy Oak, you are very special.”
Croushore, smiling and ecstatic, received applause from all gathered in the room and on the call and expressed genuine gratitude and thanked everyone multiple times for her award.
Croushore is the first recipient from Pennsylvania to receive the NWTF Dr. James Earl Kennamer National Academic Scholarship.
The $10,000 scholarship, sponsored by Mossy Oak, will help Croushore further her education at Penn State Behrend where she plans to major in mechanical engineering.
The NWTF is proud to have supported over $5.5 million in academic scholarships to students across North America who demonstrate a commitment to conservation, academic excellence and who possess the leadership skills to make a difference.
“To say Nicole earned both of these awards would be an understatement,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are proud to honor her for all of her achievements and look forward to all her future accomplishments in college and as a conservationist.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final years of the initiative.