Created and fully funded by Kentucky BHA chapter leader and retired colonel, Mike Abell and his wife Aline, the BHA Scholarship was first awarded in 2020 at the University of Louisville. The 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.
BHA awarded their third scholarship at the University of Louisville to Angela Zuniga. Angela is a transfer student pursuing her bachelor's in Political Science and Law in Public Policy. She will work with Colonel Mike Abell and the rest of the Kentucky BHA crew over the next year to complete work on public lands and waters in order to receive the full extent of her scholarship.
Angela was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador but moved to Chicago at the age of five. As the youngest of four, she gives credit to her older siblings who she looked up to.
Life hasn't always come easy to Angela and her family though. "Our family came to America without knowing English and living paycheck to paycheck which has been a struggle that was difficult to overcome but it has built an amazing work ethic within me," she said.
She's always looking for the positive side of things, too.
"I am grateful to embrace my roots because I am bilingual and culturally adaptive," Angela said.
Angela earned her Associate's Degree from Harold Washington College before applying to and receiving acceptance at the University of Louisville. But pursuing her education hasn't always been an easy road either.
"I have worked many jobs to be able to afford my education and be where I am today. There have been many obstacles in my lifetime that I have had to overcome, and must continuously overcome to this day. Being a first-generation immigrant and figuring things out on my own has been the biggest difficulty I have experienced. I am also a first-generation college student and I take very much pride in being able to achieve a milestone in my life."
Angela plans to continue studying contract law and finish law school to obtain her J.D. and master's degrees. Angela worked at the O'Hare Airport in Chicago for nine years before transferring to UPS Air Cargo in Louisville.
Angela spends most of her free time working extra hours or cooking. She also has a passion for debating and arguing about random subjects. Due to her dedication to school and work, however, she hasn't been able to find as much time outdoors.
"I have spent many years of my life working indoors handling passengers, making me oblivious to the outdoors and very sheltered from the wildlife. I do not have much outdoor experience besides the few times I went fishing in Door County, Wisconsin with my brother."
"I am very excited to be a part of BHA because this will expand my knowledge and allow me to learn something new that I may use in the future as I progress in my field of study. I am thrilled to gain as much knowledge as I continue to expand my horizons and be able to learn from people that come from all around the states and countries. I someday wish to bring my skills and knowledge to others and be able to bring awareness into the workplace so that someday we can help others become aware of the importance of our wildlife."
We are stoked to welcome Angela into the BHA family and work with her and the rest of the Kentucky BHA crew over the next year. Follow @kentuckybha and @bha_collegiateprogram to follow Angela's journey!