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Kirksville, Mo., student wins $10,000 NWTF National Scholarship

Chelsie Todd receiving her national scholarship from NWTF Chief Conservation Officer James Earl Kennamer, Josh Meyer, president of the NWTF's Kirksville Ridge Runners Chapter and NWTF Regional Director Michael Allen. High resolution image available upon request.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Chelsie Todd of Kirksville, Mo., went to her father's office May 2 hoping for a summer job interview and left with a scholarship check for $10,000.

Todd received a check as the winner of the NWTF's $10,000 National Scholarship, sponsored by Mossy Oak Brand Camo.

Todd's father, Brian, the fisheries supervisor of the Missouri Department of Conservation Northeast Region, had coaxed his daughter, an avid hunter, to come to the office with a text message about a potential summer job.

Todd was met at the MDC office by a group that included NWTF Chief Conservation Officer James Earl Kennamer, NWTF Regional Biologist John Burk, NWTF Regional Director Michael Allen, her parents, and local newspaper and television reporters.

"I was absolutely shocked," Todd said. "This is great. I had been having a lot of thoughts about paying for college, and I'll use this to help. I'd like to thank the NWTF and Mossy Oak."

Todd had already received a $500 scholarship from the NWTF Kirksville Ridge Runners Chapter and a $2,000 scholarship from the NWTF Missouri State Chapter. But she still had concerns about future college expenses.

A straight-A student at Kirksville High School with aspirations of becoming a doctor, Todd was chosen from more than 900 entrants nationwide. She plans to enter the University of Missouri in the fall and major in nutritional sciences with medical school in her eventual plans.

"Chelsie is a very deserving choice for this scholarship," said Brenda Niemeyer, a guidance counselor at Kirksville High School. "She is a diligent, committed young lady with a tremendous work ethic. She is one of those students you know is going to go out into the world and make a difference."

Todd's surprise had originally been scheduled for May 15 at a school awards ceremony, but plans changed with Kennamer and NWTF film staff nearby working on a project.

Todd is the third NWTF National Scholarship winner from Missouri. Melissa Bueker of Higginsville won in 2010; Michael Kromrey of Sullivan won in 1999.

In addition to writing a powerful contest essay, "Conserving the Circus," which describes her passions for conservation and our hunting heritage, Todd's numerous achievements include:

  • Missouri Girls State delegate
  • Several 4-H leadership positions and awards at the local and national level
  • Captain of Kirksville High volleyball team
  • Wendy's High School Heisman Scholarship recipient
  • Kirksville High National Honor Society President
  • Kirksville High Student Ambassador
  • MDC volunteer and research assistant

Todd and her family will receive a trip to the 2013 NWTF National Convention and Sport Show, Feb. 14-17 at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn., where she will be recognized for her achievements.

For more information on the NWTF scholarship program, call (800) THE-NWTF, email or visit

The NWTF, a national nonprofit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. Through dynamic partnerships with local, state and provincial agencies, the NWTF has invested more than $372 million and conserved 17 million acres of wildlife habitat.

For more information on the NWTF, call (800) THE-NWTF or visit




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