Youth Scholarship Program

Youth Scholarship Program

Conservation Focused Leaders of Tomorrow.

The CCA Florida Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Program presented by Mud Hole Custom Tackle Education Program 

Conservation Focused Leaders of Tomorrow.

The Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Program (Y.S.P.) is a five-day educational experience for Florida High School students. Selected students will tour marine facilities, meet with fishing industry leaders, prepare and present speeches, and more all while competing for college scholarships. After the program’s completion, the Y.S.P. graduates have the opportunity to compete for the Grand Scholarship by starting CCA programs in their own communities.

Applications OPEN MARCH 1, 2024
Applications Must Be Submitted by April 22, 2024
Program Starts Sunday, June 9 and Ends June 13, 2024
Program Participants have 10 Months to Compete for the Grand Scholarship by Introducing CCA Florida Programs into Their Communities

The Y.S.P. is looking for sponsors. Sponsorships are customizable, click here or below to view the options! 

Interested in donating to this one-of-a-kind Scholarship Program? Click here or below!



Jun 09, 2024 - Jun 13, 2024


Conservation Focused Leaders of Tomorrow.

Interested in being part of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Florida’s history? If you’re a current high school student, then apply to the 2024 CCA Florida Fred Crabill Youth Scholarship Program (Y.S.P.) presented by the Mud Hole Education Program!

Entry into the Youth Scholarship program requires submission of a completed application form, personal statement, a one-page essay and two letters of recommendation.

Application Requirements:

  • Must be a Florida Resident
  • Must be a Current High School Student
  • Must be in Good Academic Standing
  • Able to Travel to Orlando and stay from June 9 through June 13, 2024
  • Must be a CCA Florida Youth Member. To join, go to JOINCCA.org
  • Must Submit Application
  • Submit Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from your listed references in Application
  • Submit One Paragraph Personal Statement: Tell us who you are, what you like to do, and why you should be selected.
  • Submit One Page (max 500 words) Typed Essay Prompt: TOPIC IN APPLICATION 

Application FAQs

Have questions about the Y.S.P., application process, eligibility and requirements? Explore the frequently asked questions below!

What is the CCA Florida Youth Scholarship Program (Y.S.P.)?

The CCA Florida Y.S.P. is an opportunity for Florida High School Students to earn college scholarships. Students will compete throughout the week, and scholarships will be awarded based on merit, attention, focus, creativity, speeches and more.

Students will travel to Orlando, Fla. for a five-day experience unlike any other. Students will tour the CCA office, meet industry professionals, participate in habitat projects, visit with special guests and so much more! Hotels, meals and transportation during the program are included. Parents/students are responsible for transportation to and from Orlando.

After the conclusion of the program, all participants are encouraged to start/engage in CCA Florida programs in their own communities. They have 10 months to creatively participate in enhancing and protecting Florida’s marine resources. Students will then submit a portfolio of their grassroots efforts for a chance to win the Grand Scholarship!

What else is on the itinerary?

  • Tour Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River
  • Take a Fishing Trip
  • Swim in Florida Springs
  • Prepare and Present Speeches
  • Visit the CCA Florida Office
  • CCA Florida Presentations
  • Visits from Special Guests
  • Visit Biology Labs
  • Visit Orlando Attractions
  • Scholarship Awards
  • Banquet Dinner, and more!

What are the prerequisites for interested applicants?

  • You must be a current sophomore or junior in high school. (accepted applicants will attend the Y.S.P. the summer before his or her junior or senior year)
  • Must be a Florida Resident
  • Be in Good Academic Standing
  • Be a CCA Florida (Youth) Member. Youth Memberships are $10 and can be purchased at JOINCCA.org
  • Ability to Travel to Orlando and stay from June 9 through 13, 2024

How many applicants are accepted into the program?

10 students will be selected for the 2024 program.

After I turn in my application by the deadline, how long will it be before I am notified of my acceptance?

Applicants will be notified of acceptance status in late April/early May 2024. The student and his or her parent will be contacted via email regarding application status. 

How can I apply to the program?

Print out the application, fill it out and email the application and supporting documents to Jimmy Michaels, Youth Scholarship Program Director, at YSP@ccaflorida.org.

The application process is highly competitive and consists of an application form, one-page essay, personal statement, and two letters of recommendation.

Do you have to be a CCA Florida member to apply?

Yes. Youth Memberships (ages 6-17) are $10 and can be purchased by visiting JOINCCA.org.

What is a Personal Statement?

The Personal Statement is an opportunity for you to tell us about yourself. What do you like to do for fun, where do you like to fish, what is your favorite outdoor memory? The Personal Statement is only one paragraph, so make sure you communicate yourself effectively. 

What will I get out of the Youth Scholarship Program?

  • Students will have multiple scholarship opportunities
  • Informative tours
  • Meet several industry leaders
  • Development of academic skills such as leadership, public speaking and debating
  • Increased awareness and appreciation of recreational fishing, fisheries management, advocacy issues and the work CCA Florida does on behalf of recreational fisherman
  • Chances to meet and network with new people from across the state and build friendships
  • Visiting the CCA Florida headquarters and hearing from various department heads
  • An introduction to fishing, habitat restoration, the fishing industry and more

 Is this program right for me?

Most applicants have strong interests in Florida’s marine environment. We are looking for a broad variety of personal backgrounds and experiences. If you qualify, we encourage you to apply!

I’m really interested in the program, but I’ve never been fishing or on a boat before. Will that decrease my chances of getting into the program?

Although prior experience of fishing is a common characteristic in many applicants, it is not required to get into the program. Applicants are judged on GPA, well-roundedness of activities, their one-page essay and Personal Statement, as well as recommendations.

How much does the program cost?

The Y.S.P. is all-expense paid experience; the costs for meals, hotel, supplies, etc. are covered by CCA Florida and its donors. Students and/or parents are required to pay their own travel expenses to and from Orlando. Students are encouraged to bring extra cash for souvenirs, phone cards, emergency money while traveling etc.

Where does funding for the CCA Florida Youth Scholarship Program come from?

Funding for the Youth Scholarship Program comes from individual donations, corporate donations and grants. We want to send a very special THANK YOU to the donors who have contributed money to this program!

Will there be chaperones?

Yes, there will always be at least two chaperones assisting students at all times during the program. Many chaperones during the program will only spend one or two days with the students before switching with another chaperone.

What are the rules during the program and what do I need to bring?

Once selected, the students will receive all necessary information regarding the program guidelines, scholarship criteria, packing list, etc. to be signed by both the student and a parent/guardian.


Once the Y.S.P. is complete, participants have 10 months to compete for the CCA Y.S.P. Grand Scholarship by introducing CCA Florida programs into their communities and creating a portfolio summarizing the experience. Entries can include starting a fishing club, hosting coastal cleanups, creating fundraisers, building an artificial reef, creating art from coastal debris, speaking about their CCA Florida experience at events, getting involved in advocacy groups, starting a recycling program, planning a kids’ fishing clinic, and MORE! The possibilities are endless.

Students will then put together a portfolio of the grassroots efforts he or she has completed over the last 10 months and one (1) winner will be selected to win the Grand Scholarship! All 10 participants are eligible for this award, even if they did not win an end of week scholarship during the program.


Applications and supporting documents are to be submitted in ONE document to Jimmy Michaels, Program Director by April 22, 2024 at 5 p.m. via email, ysp@ccaflorida.org

Do you have more questions not answered here? Contact Jimmy Michaels.

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