Janet Fox | 7/6/2012 12:06:56 AM
Clay Parker, a second year Louisiana State 4-H Shooting Sports Teen Ambassador, was selected as one of 46 students nationwide to participate in the National Rifle Association’s annual National Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.). Y.E.S. is a seven-day, expense-paid educational experience in Washington, D.C., for outstanding high school sophomores and juniors. While in the nation’s capital, Clay will learn the significance of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights while developing an understanding of government and the importance of actively participating in it.
Clay will fly to the nation’s capital June 25 for an action-packed week. He has received his assigned debate team topic and individual presentation topic. Debate teams have been assigned and are communicating via phone, text, email and Skype, getting their research completed and arguments organized. Participants must arrive prepared to speak on their topics. Several opportunities are given for the debate teams to actually talk in person and finalize their approach, but all research must be done prior to arriving in Washington.
Activities on the schedule include:
- Guest speakers at NRA Headquarters and the National Firearms Museum
- Competitive debates with other high school students from across the nation
- Informative tours at historic sites and monuments in and around Washington, D.C.
- Meeting national leaders from Capitol Hill and around Washington, D.C.
In addition to the week in Washington, D.C., Y.E.S. participants compete for $30,000 in college scholarships. The first round of awards totals $10,000 and is given at the conclusion of the Y.E.S. program. The second round of scholarships is composed of $20,000 and involves a second application, available to participants after they go through the Y.E.S. program.
Clay was selected from numerous qualified applicants from across the country. He was required to complete an extensive application, which included the submission of transcripts, an essay about what the Second Amendment means to him, a personal statement concerning his qualifications for selection and three personal recommendation letters.
Clay is a 10th-grade student at St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School in Hammond, La., where he is an honor student maintaining a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the Beta, Interact and 4-H clubs on campus, district literary rally participant, and member of the football and golf teams at St. Thomas Aquinas. Clay participates in the Louisiana 4-H Shooting Sports program through the LSU AgCenter and is president of the Tangipahoa Parish Shooting Sports club. He has won numerous awards at the local, regional and state levels in the hunting, archery and shotgun disciplines. Clay is currently a member of the Louisiana Trapshooting Association. He was also selected as a member of the 2012-2013 Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Committee. His interests include target shooting, fishing, hunting, boating, football and golf. In his spare time, Clay is also active in family business operations. He plans to attend college upon graduation to study engineering followed by law school.
When asked what he is most looking forward to during the week, Clay immediately answers shooting on the NRA range, spending the day at Marine Corps Base Quantico and getting to know all the other participants from other states. He also states that he thinks every day is going to be a blast and an experience of a lifetime.