Prep and JA students start Ducks Unlimited chapter to raise funds
Two area high schools have started what will be an annual competition to raise money for waterfowl conservation. Jackson Prep and Jackson Academy now both host Ducks Unlimited Varsity (DUV) programs geared at high schoolers.
This offers students ways to gain leadership experience and support the Ducks Unlimited mission of conducting fundraising events to benefit conservation. Sixty-one scholarships through the DUV program with the top scholarship of $10,000 are available for graduating high school seniors.
Ducks Unlimited is a nonprofit organization founded in 1937 that is driven by a volunteer base of nearly 60,000 individuals across North America. All have a common interest and mission of preserving wetlands and waterfowl conservation. Annually, Ducks Unlimited hosts more than 4,000 events. Last year, these events netted more than $50,000,000.
In 2016, Prep’s varsity chapter was established. This year, it is led by students Ford Lange and Theo Costas with Col. William Merrell being the advisor. Prep raised $7,350 in their first fundraising event in 2016, and in the fall of 2018 the chapter raised $10,100. Since 2016 the chapter has raised $23,500 net for Duck’s Unlimited. The chapter has also built wood duck boxes as part of a conservation project during their spring semesters.
Jackson Academy joined in the conservation efforts by establishing their varsity chapter in 2018 which is student led by McNeill Dinkins along with advisors, Matt Morgan and Jack Milne. Promoting their first fundraiser in the fall of 2018, students raised $9,050.
Hunter Pridgen, regional director for North and Central Mississippi, stated, “These two chapters have quickly put themselves on the map for DUV. This is a unique competition to have two local high schools working to outdo each other in the name of conservation,” said Pridgen.