CCA & Mud Hole Education Program Announce 2024 Scholarship Winners

Award Banquet Caps Off Week of Conservation Activities and Competition for $6,000 in Funds

Oviedo, FL – In its third year of supporting environmental leadership for Florida high school students, the CCA Florida Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Program presented by the Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program announced the 2024 scholarship winners at the Awards Banquet on Thursday, June 13. The event took place at Mud Hole’s Oviedo Education Center, featuring presentations and a catered dinner for the students, parents and the scholarship officials from CCA Florida and Mud Hole. First place was awarded to Katelyn Rosado of Fort Lauderdale, who takes home a $3,000 scholarship. Blake McSweeney of Pembroke Pines earned the $2,000 second place prize, and the $1,000 third place award went to Tampa’s Mia Holmes.

“The partnership between the Mud Hole Education Program and CCA Florida to support this scholarship and these students is extremely rewarding,” said Anthony Youmans, Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program Director. “Helping to develop the future conservation leaders in our communities is a great complement to Mud Hole Education Program’s goal of reaching kids and adding value to their education experience.”

Mud Hole’s $6,000 financial contribution is supported through the Matt McGuffee College Scholarship Initiative, honoring the beloved former employee who passed away at age 28 in 2022. In addition, the Mud Hole team hosts the program’s kick off and Awards Banquet and documents the week of activities for the students. This year, the students traveled coast-to-coast, from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River to Bajio Sunglasses in New Smyrna Beach, learning how these companies help preserve our environment as a key component of their business strategies.  The students were also able to build a custom fishing rod at Mud Hole and fish for barramundi at Osceola Outback Adventures. Throughout the week of activities, students were graded on their attention, focus, creativity, presentation, and overall engagement in the learning experiences.

“This year’s competitors were highly engaged and brought tremendous energy to program,” CCA Florida Regional Director, Jimmy Michaels stated. “We’re honored to bring the opportunity to the students each year, and to work with Mud Hole on a program that will have a long-lasting impact for these students and for our Florida ecosystems.”

For the third consecutive year, the ten 2024 program participants have the opportunity to earn the $5,000 Grand Scholarship by returning to their high schools to create conservation-focused programs that positively impact their communities. To learn more about the CCA Florida Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Program presented by the Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program, visit https://ccaflorida.org/event/ysp/

About the Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program

Since 2008, the Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program has been offering teachers and students the chance to explore custom rod building in the classroom. Mud Hole works closely with educators to incorporate custom rod building and tackle crafting into school curricula through professionally developed lesson plans and teaching tools, as well as deeply discounted pricing for rod building and tackle crafting components, tools, equipment, and supplies. Since its inception, the Mud Hole Education Program has reached over 50,000 students through more than 700 schools and youth organizations. Mud Hole Custom Tackle, based in Oviedo, Florida, is the world’s largest supplier of rod building & tackle crafting goods, offering a superior shopping experience at mudhole.com, rapid delivery, industry leading customer service, and world class online content and instruction.

About CCA Florida

The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 non-profit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments. Join the conversation on Facebook or learn more at ccaflorida.org.

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