While on a video conference with NWTF staff and volunteers, Lenz and his family thought he was being interviewed about winning the NWTF Wisconsin State Chapter scholarship, until Mossy Oak’s Cuz Strickland appeared on the video conference, surprising Lenz as the recipient of the 2020 Dr. James Earl Kennamer Academic Scholarship, too.
“I don’t mean to interrupt the meeting,” said Strickland. “I wanted to tell Thomas congratulations and that he also won the national scholarship.”
“When Cuz hopped onto the call and told me the news, I have to admit I was pretty well dumbstruck,” said Lenz. “I had no idea what was coming, and it's even now still sinking in.”
Lenz continued “Conservation has meant so much to me, and to have NWTF and Mossy Oak supporting my education is truly wonderful. My dream is to go to school to become an engineer and do work that makes the world a better place, and the NWTF is helping me accomplish that dream through this scholarship.
The $10,000 scholarship, sponsored by Mossy Oak, will help Thomas further his education as he plans to attend the University of Minnesota as an Aerospace Engineering and Mechanical Engineering double major.
Lenz is on track to graduate at the very top of his Logan High School class with a perfect 4.0 GPA and straight A’s all throughout his high school career. Additionally, Lenz participates in numerous leadership roles, organizations and extracurricular clubs including:
• National Honor Society
• Tri-M Music Honor Society
• Inven-Team (an engineering design club)
• Engineering Explorers
• Quiz Bowl
• Academic Decathlon
• Scouts BSA
Lenz received scholarships through the Tri-State Gobblers Chapter and the Wisconsin State NWTF Chapter, which made him eligible for the NWTF Dr. James Earl Kennamer Academic Scholarship.
The NWTF is proud to have supported over 5.5 million in academic scholarships to students across North America who demonstrate a commitment to conservation, academic excellence and who possess the leadership skills to make a difference. In 2019, the NWTF awarded 382 scholarships for a total of $194,052.
“The NWTF is proud to support students like Thomas,” said NWTF CEO Becky Humphries. “It is the young and determined conservationists that will carry the NWTF mission forward for generations to come.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org