2021 Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship Contest

Applications must be received by online submission or postmarked by 5 p.m. (CST) March 31st, 2021.

The 2021 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest, in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken a leadership role to prevent litter in their school and/or community. Any Texas high school senior planning to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited college or university in the Fall of 2021 and currently attending public, private, or home school in Texas may apply. One $5,000 Grand Prize scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded this May 2021. Thank you to the 2021 scholarship sponsors: iHeart Media and Buc-ee’s.

  • Please fill out each item in this form. Only applications that are fully completed will be accepted.

  • Scholarship applicants must be current residents of Texas. Employees and their immediate families (spouses, parents, siblings, children, and each of their respective spouses or people living in same household of each) of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), GDC Marketing & Ideation (GDC) and other sponsors are not eligible to participate. By submitting the application and supporting documentation, you acknowledge and understand that the work will become the property of TxDOT/KTB upon submission. Furthermore, you grant permission to TxDOT/KTB to use the application and supporting documentation for any purpose associated with the Don’t mess with Texas anti-litter campaign. No obligation or liability is assumed by TxDOT in connection with any scholarship. Don’t mess with Texas® is a registered service mark and trademark owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.

  • Scholarship Responses

    For over 35 years, Don’t mess with Texas has reminded people to keep litter off Texas roads. Litter is defined as trash that is left on the ground in a public place or on a roadway rather than in a trash receptacle. The most commonly littered items are wrappers, packaging, cans, and cigarette butts. These trash items create an unsightly mess that is costly to clean up. Please answer the following short answer questions in 50-100 words each.


  • Describe how you personally made a difference.
  • Tell us what inspired you to help improve your community.
  • Explain how your project made a sustainable impact and how it can grow in the future.
  • Highlight the ideas that make your project unique.
  • Don’t mess with Texas reminds Texans to put trash in the can! If your project involves recycling, be sure to show how your efforts reduce trash and litter.
  • Drop files here or
  • Winners may be asked to participate in a brief video interview describing their litter prevention project.


    In submitting this application, I certify that the information provided is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I give permission for my school counselor to be contacted as a reference if I am a finalist.

    For verification purposes, please include the names and phone numbers of at least two adult references (over the age of 18) who helped you and were a part of the efforts you described in the response section of your application.

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