Created and fully funded by Kentucky BHA chapter leader and retired colonel, Mike Abell and his wife Aline, the BHA scholarship was created in 2020 at the University of Louisville. The BHA scholarship is intended to be awarded to a political science student who has aspirations to one day serve in public office but who has little to no experience with hunting, angling, or the outdoors. The intent is to immerse them in the BHA community where they will forge relationships and gain experiences on our public lands and waters and walk away with a better understanding of and connection to our conservationist values. The scholarship highlights the importance of reaching across the aisle and celebrates finding common ground.
From Indira Neufville, our 4th Public Trust Scholar:
"My name is Indira Neufville and I was born and raised in the High Point, Greensboro area of North Carolina. I currently reside in Louisville Kentucky where I attend the University of Louisville. I am a third year Political Science major with a minor in film studies; I chose to major in Political Science after taking Advanced placement U.S history my junior year of high school. I was inspired by the way my teacher Mrs. Spillman challenged our class to think about how American history has an inherent effect on modern day politics and continues to influence the political rhetoric and policies in the present. Once I dipped my toes in the world of politics, I’ve been hooked and never looked back once to think about being passionate about another subject.
I chose to attend the University of Louisville being that I have always had plans to cheer at the collegiate level at a prestigious program. I have dreamed of cheering for UofL since the age of 14; by the age of 18 I had achieved my dream of making the All-Girl cheer team and went on to win a national title with the team my 1st year apart of the program. Fast-forward to today I have now won with the All-Girl team 3 consecutive years in a row, continuing a 9-year winning streak that the team has achieved overall. To say I am blessed is an understatement: I cannot be more thankful to God for allowing me to live out my dreams at an amazing university where I have made many connections and grown as an individual exponentially over the past 3 years.
My current hobbies that I enjoy and that help ground me include listening to one of the various podcasts I tune into each week, spending time with God in meditation and prayer, and participating in anything designed to generate self-growth. An additional hobby of mine is cheer, as I have been engaged in the sport since the age of 5. I plan to end my 18-year cheer career after this next upcoming season when I am a senior. After I graduate next spring and end my cheer career I plan to staff for a congressman or congresswoman on the hill for a congressional session or two, then pursue a career in broadcast journalism.
I applied to this scholarship with the intention of gaining a learning experience that is completely out of my comfort zone. I have never been a lover of nature or the outdoors, but in recent years my perspective has changed and made me appreciate the environment that we inhabit more. I now desire to be more in tune with nature and the ecosystem that I am a part of, which includes protecting these outdoor spaces from human interaction that has a negative effect on it. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers' mission and goals address how pertinent protecting these spaces are and have initiatives organized in order to safeguard the wild lands that are present within the U.S; the goals of BHA and the public trust scholarship perfectly align with the goals I have to connect more with nature and be on the forefront of the push to protect wild lands. I am most excited about gaining knowledge from individuals who are more acclimated with navigating spaces where hunting and angling occurs; it will be an experience I am unfamiliar with, but in the best way to aid with my wish to become more congenial with the outdoors."