RIDGELAND, Miss. – May 26, 2021 – High school seniors McNeill Dinkins and Hunter Yelverton, from Jackson, Miss., are two of four Mississippi students awarded 2021 scholarships from Ducks Unlimited (DU).
Dinkins is one of two 2021 $10,000 Ducks Unlimited National Scholarship winners.
“It’s an honor to be chosen to receive this scholarship and an even higher honor to have worked with the people who helped me achieve this award,” Dinkins said. “In all of my years of volunteering I never expected to be recognized because DU is my passion, the hobby I truly love.”.
Dinkins, a founding member of the Jackson Academy Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, has served as chapter chairman for three years. During his tenure, the chapter raised more than $55,000 for wetlands and waterfowl conservation.
While the pandemic hindered most events, Dinkins along with his committee, still managed to hold an in-person event in December raising $18,000. The event helped Jackson Academy bring home the 2020 Mississippi Ducks Unlimited Duck Bowl trophy that is awarded to the high school DU chapter in Mississippi that raises the most money.
Hunter Yelverton, 2020 chairman of the Jackson Prep Ducks Unlimited Chapter, is the 2021 winner of the $1,000 Irene W. and C. B. Pennington Foundation DU Conservation Scholarship.
“When I got the call about my scholarship, I remember feeling a pure sense of joy and accomplishment,” Yelverton said. “The DU scholarship was a great way to culminate all the work I did in high school, and saying I am proud to have served the Jackson Prep Chapter would be an understatement. Every little bit helps when it comes to paying for a good education. I am glad the people at Ducks Unlimited have my back.”
During his two-year tenure as a volunteer for the Jackson Prep Chapter, the chapter raised more than $45,000 for DU’s mission.
“Volunteering with Ducks Unlimited has given me countless opportunities to make connections with great people who share my passion for the outdoors,” Yelverton said. “Raising awareness about wetlands conservation around my high school community and helping to bring the competitive spirit of the Jackson Prep versus Jackson Academy crosstown rivalry into the world of conservation has been an honor.”
Both Dinkins and Yelverton plan to attend Mississippi State University and pursue degrees in industrial engineering.
“I am so proud of both these young men and proud to say they are an important part of our DU family here in Mississippi,” said Steven Bridwell, Mississippi Ducks Unlimited State Chairman. “They have shown me that we, as an organization and as a country, have a bright future. We have leaders like these gentlemen that will be our leaders tomorrow and that is great news to us all.”
Additional DU scholarship winners from Mississippi include John Nowell Jr. of Jackson Prep, who earned a $500 DU Edward E. Milam Varsity Scholarship and Anna Morgan King, a member of the Noxubee County DU committee, who earned the Ronal and Patti Roberson Varsity Scholarship for $500.
For more information visit www.ducks.org, and be sure to follow DU’s news Twitter feed – @DUNews1937 – to get the most up-to-date news from Ducks Unlimited.
About Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 15 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever. For more information on our work, visit www.ducks.org.