A Valencia High School senior was recently named one of only six National Rifle Association Youth Shooting Ambassadors in the country.
For the next year, Roberto Galaz, 17, a VHS senior, will represent the organization at shooting events around the nation.
As an ambassador, he is expected to write articles about the events he attends and help and mentor younger shooters at the shows. When needed, he will work at an NRA booth during events to direct people to information and resources from the organization.
Galaz has already attended the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Penn., in February, and will be attending the annual NRA annual meeting, which will be in Indianapolis at the end of April.
“I’ve always been involved in shooting and was brought up around it,” said Galaz, who is an NRA member. “I like helping and mentoring young shooters, and I have a strong belief in the Second Amendment.”
Becoming an ambassador was no easy task. Galaz had to write a 500-word essay, detailing his extensive shooting career.
On the basis of that, he moved on to the top 20 applicants, and had to make a three-minute video, again highlighting his shooting career as well as talking about his other community activities and contributions.
With the video, he also had to submit three references from shooting coaches and teachers, as well as be in good academic standing, a standard the straight-A student had no problem meeting.
Galaz started shooting competitively in the sixth grade as a member of the National Junior High School Rodeo Association.
His main shooting event is the three position — where shooters are prone, kneeling and standing while shooting at their targets with a rifle.
Since he started, Galaz has made it to the national competition every year.
In the sixth grade, he placed fourth in the state and sixth at nationals. The next year, Galaz placed first in New Mexico and was reserve champion at nationals.
In eighth, ninth, 10th and 11th grades, he placed first both in New Mexico and Nationals.
“When I was in sixth grade, I wanted to be national champion,” Galaz said. “That’s what I concentrated on and I worked hard to accomplish that goal. Dedication pays off in the end.”
He practices his shooting three days a week at least, if homework allows.
After graduation, Galaz plans to go to The University of New Mexico to study to be a nurse anesthetist. The NRA ambassadorship comes with a college scholarship.
While in college, Galaz said he will have the opportunity to continue shooting competitively with the American Trap Association and in NRA shooting matches. Last year, he placed 11th in trap shooting at nationals out of 218 competitors.