1. The Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.)
Every year, NRA hosts rising high school juniors and seniors for a week-long, expenses-paid excursion in the D.C. Metro area. Sponsored by Friends of NRA, it's called the Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.), and there's more to it than sightseeing: There are $30,000 in scholarships up for grabs for the kids who enjoy this program. Y.E.S. attendees do not have to be NRA members or the children of same, and there are no requirements that the students know anything about guns.
The teens enjoy a tour of the D.C. monuments, the National Archives, the Supreme Court, Marine Corps Base Quantico, the NRA National Firearms Museum and other highlights. Generally, the Summiteers are given a chance to shoot on the NRA Range under the close supervision of NRA Range Officers and instructors, but participation is not mandatory and doesn't affect a student's chances at winning a scholarship. You can read more about previous Y.E.S. classes here. To find out how to apply, click here.
2. The Civil Rights Defense Fund Youth Essay Contest
The NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund sponsors an annual scholarly writing contest for grades K-12. The theme for the essay is "What Does The Second Amendment Mean to You?" Essays are judged in two categories: Senior (grades 9-12) and Junior (grades 8 and below), with separate cash prizes awarded to the winners in each category. First-place cash prizes are $1,000, $600 for second place, $200 for third place and $100 for fourth place. To read excerpts from some winning entries, click here. To find out how to enter the contest, click here.
3. The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest
The George Montgomery/NRA Youth Wildlife Art Contest is a yearly chance for your child's creativity and talent to earn cash. It's open to all students from Grades 1 through 12—including home-schooled students—and is broken down into four categories. Category I encompasses Grades 1 to 3; Category II is Grades 4 to 6; Category III is Grades 7 to 9; Category IV is Grades 10 to 12. (There's also a Best In Show, which can go to a student of any age.) This is so that the students are competing against others on as even a playing field as possible. The artwork can depict any North American animal (including birds) that can be legally hunted or trapped, and is judged based on anatomical accuracy, artistic merit and creativity.
Neither the young competitors nor their parents need be NRA members, and there's no fee for entry. Winners receive generous cash prizes: $1,000 for Best In Show, $750 for first-place winners, $500 for second-place winners and $250 for third-place winners. Even better, the artwork is featured on www.nra.org, offering your budding artist national exposure. Click here for more information and to download an entry form.
4. The Brownells/NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award
The Brownells/NRA Outstanding Achievement Youth Award is judged yearly, and it's designed to reward exceptional juniors and young adults who take an active part in the shooting sports through individual participation and educational pursuits. It's available to young people through their 21st birthday, so even current college students would be eligible. In order to meet the criteria, applicants need to meet six core requirements and five elective requirements, all of which involve volunteerism, education and service. First prize is $5,000; second prize is $3,000; and third prize is $2,000. Click here for requirements and to download an application form.