The submission period for the 2018 Scholarship Contest is now closed. Thanks to all who participated and congratulations to our recipients. Please check back for information on the 2019 Scholarship program.
The Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and communities and build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas initiative.
GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Dalton Shaw, W.W. Samuell High School, Dallas TX
Dalton Shaw recognized the growing litter problem around his school and community of Pleasant Grove, so he launched his own anti-litter campaign to clean up litter, beautify his community and acknowledge the people who work hard to keep it clean. First, Dalton worked with the PTSA to have big, green plants placed at the entrances of the school — making the area welcoming and discouraging to litterers who were placing trash into the planters before. He hung bright colored posters in his high school that read “Don’t mess with Texas — help keep Spartan territory litter-free” and received permission to advertise the message on the marquee out front of the school. Next, Dalton awarded the hard-working janitorial staff with a community service certificate to acknowledge the hard work they do every day to keep the school clean and to encourage the student body to respect their efforts. Dalton reached out to a local, community volunteer, Mr. Winn, and the two of them drove around his litter patrol truck outfitted with waste and recycle cans. The two of them made early morning rounds cleaning out creek bed garbage, repainting bandit signs and filling the back of his trailer with trash and recyclables, Dalton and Mr. Winn have now organized a group of neighbors, students and additional community members to help clean up the Pleasant Grove Elementary and St. Augustine Parks in their city. Dalton showed great initiative and creativity in integrating the Don’t mess with Texas message into his community.
Andrew Wagner, St. Paul High School, Shiner, TX
As a Boy Scout, Andrew recognizes the importance of community service. He decided to put together a project that would clean up a local park. Andrew noticed that this park was littered with trash and part of the reason was that the trash receptacles were too old and falling apart. He met with city council for approval and funding on his project to install three new, 32-gallon commercial trash receptacles. Additionally, Andrew coordinated with the manager of the Parks Department to have custom-made, steel picnic tables and a large outdoor checkerboard made of concrete pavers. Andrew and seven other Boy Scouts and six city workers put in 120 hours of work, planning and labor. They take great pride in keeping Shiner, TX true to its slogan “The Cleanest Little City in Texas”.
Brittany Nation, Richland High School, North Richland Hills, TX
In 2015 Brittany Nation started a group called “Earth Day Pick Up Crew”. Brittany, her siblings and several peers met at the park across the street from their school and picked up trash for several hours. They enjoyed it so much that they turned “Earth Day” into “Earth Week” gathering volunteers from five different school campuses to help clean up litter after school for an entire week. As Brittany entered high school, she turned her group into a leadership program. Together they picked up five school campuses, three parks and numerous roadsides and neighborhoods over the past year. Brittany also began encouraging her peers and siblings to participate in “Ten Tuesdays” which is picking up ten pieces of litter per person on your walk home from school. Brittany showed how an easy litter pick-up can turn into a larger community effort and make a great impact.