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spectr17
06-10-2003, 11:09 PM
June 8, 2003

The State.com

Camden High senior's essay on hunting wins her college tuition

CHANDA COOPER OF Bishopville is happy she grew up in a family that enjoys hunting. Her love of the outdoors has earned her the National Wild Turkey Federation's 2003 National Scholarship.

She was selected as the national winner from a group of 41 other state scholarship recipients. The combination of NWTF local, state and national funds awarded to the Camden High School senior totaled $11,500, which will pay for to attend the University of South Carolina Honors College, where she will major in biology beginning this fall. Among the requirements for the scholarship was to write an essay describing why hunting is important to her and her family.

"My family and I share a common interest in hunting, and it is an activity that we all enjoy," she wrote in her essay, 'The Importance of Hunting." "This shared time strengthens our family unity and affords us special moments together. There is a sense of common pride and joy when a successful hunt is transferred to Sunday dinner, and we are able to enjoy the meat as we recount the fun we had on the hunt."

This year's Camden High valedictorian, Chanda was a top student in all aspects. She was treasurer of the National Honor Society, Ecology Club and Desaussure Tri-Hi-Y and was a member of the Beta Club, Spanish Club, 4-H Food and Cover Establishment Program and Interclub Council.

"I was excited," she said. "I got the phone call from the NWTF in between statistics and chemistry class. It was a long wait, but it was nice to hear I had won. This scholarship represents everything that I am interested in with wildlife and the outdoors."

Recently, Chanda learned she is one of 137 high school seniors across the country to be selected as a 2003 Presidential Scholar.

"Chanda embodies the principles that the NWTF scholarship was founded on," said Christine Rokla, NWTF education coordinator. "She is a top-notch student, leader among her peers and has proven her commitment to preserving our hunting traditions, conserving our natural resources and making her community a better place." Chanda and her family also will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the 2004 NWTF national Convention and Sport Show, Feb. 19-22, 2004, in Columbus, Ohio, where she will be recognized for her achievement.