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Don’t Mess with Texas Searching for the Next Campaign Celebrity

February 19, 2009

Statewide auditions will decide who lands coveted Summer ’09 Internship

(AUSTIN, Texas)—You don’t necessarily have to sing, but you have to be talented to land one of the most desirable internships in Texas this summer.

Thousands of young people across the state are expected to audition beginning February 19 for the role of “Don’t Mess with Texas Intern: Summer ’09.”

The Texas Department of Transportation, which manages the Don’t Mess with Texas litter prevention campaign, is casting three young Texans to serve as high-profile interns. Their assignment? To teach their peers not to litter—a big job for anyone and an especially tall order for a two-month internship.

“We’re looking for energetic Texans passionate about the environment who are ready to travel the state delivering our litter prevention message, said Doris Howdeshell, Travel Information Division Director for TxDOT. “Whoever is chosen gets to build their résumé working on a beloved, nationally recognized public service campaign — and this internship comes with a lot of fun assignments.”

On The Job Benefits

The three winners will represent Don’t Mess with Texas at select Texas events this summer — from concerts to sporting events and mall appearances. They’ll also film — and star in — Webisodes, which will be featured along with their personal blogs on the Don’t Mess with Texas Web site ( For part of the internship, their own personal camera crew will follow them around to document their travel and adventures. Interns will be assigned “litter challenges” where they help rid local communities of trash and persuade young people not to litter and they’ll have the opportunity to develop and promote their own creative litter prevention ideas.

They each will receive a stipend for the entire internship. Additional benefits may be awarded via sponsorships.

Research by TxDOT has revealed that the state’s worst litterers are Texans ages 16 to 24, also called Gen L or Generation Litterer.

“We can’t use the same old litter prevention tactics to reach them — and motivate them — to change their behavior,” said Howdeshell. That’s how the internship idea was born — to increase use of the Web and blogs to engage this Internet-savvy group. The lucky winners will experience a once-in-a-lifetime internship and who knows, they may become stars.”

Getting Hired

Texans can apply one of three ways: in person at Intern Search events, online or via mail. At the events, hopefuls will audition in front of a group of judges comprised of industry professionals. Interns will be selected by the judges and student peers based on their audition and their application responses. A full job description, application and details are available at

Don’t Mess with Texas Intern Summer ’09 Key Dates* (Audition Events)

  • Search Begins: February 19
  • Austin: February 26, Hancock Center, 41st and Red River Streets, noon-6 p.m. CST
  • Dallas: March 5, Victory Park, near the intersection of Victory Ave. and High Market St., noon-6 p.m. CST
  • Houston: March 12, The Shops at Houston Center, Site 6, Caroline and Rusk Streets, noon-6 p.m. CST
  • South Padre: March 20, South Padre Island Visitors Center & CVB, 600 Padre Blvd., noon-6 p.m. CST
  • Entry Deadline: March 20, 6 p.m. CST

* Audition dates, times and exact locations subject to change. Check Web site for final details.

You must be 21 years old and a Texas resident to apply. A valid Texas driver’s license is required. Intern applicants must complete an application and meet eligibility requirements. Interns must be available to live in Austin in June and July 2009.

Selecting the Interns & Online Voting Twist

At the end of March, the judges will advance 50 Texans to the next round. Next, they will shortlist 10 Texans, then narrow it down to five hopefuls. Of the five, two winners will be selected by judges’ vote. The remaining three will be up for public vote online, from April 13 through May 1, to decide the final Don’t Mess with Texas Intern.

About Don’t Mess with Texas

Don’t Mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. TxDOT’s litter prevention program includes Adopt-a-Highway and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess with Texas activities also include a spring “Trash-Off,” community outreach, a student litter prevention contest and a corporate partner program. For more information, visit TxDOT’s goals are to reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of transportation assets. For more information, visit

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