Attention 2014 High School Seniors
Make sure to check our website early next year to learn how to apply for the 2014 Don’t mess with Texas scholarship!
To be notified as soon as the 2014 Don't mess with Texas scholarship becomes available, please fill out the Contact Us form and tell us you are interested in the Scholarship Program.
Don’t mess with Texas® is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Scholarship contest!
Sponsored by Prosperity Bank and in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, 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/or communities.
Nearly 600 high school seniors from around the state submitted applications and essays describing their litter prevention projects. The competition was fierce, and Don’t mess with Texas applauds the efforts of all Texas high school students who take leadership roles in applying creative solutions to litter problems.
Congratulations to this year’s winners!
$3,000 Scholarship Winner – Chandler Burke
St. Mark’s School of Texas, Dallas, TX
The slogan, “Think globally, act locally,” prompted Chandler to propose a comprehensive solution to litter and pollution problems affecting the Blackland Prairie, a tall-grass prairie ecosystem unique to North Texas. Removing flood debris and garbage—including steel beams, a car frame and door, plus concrete barriers—from a nearby creek required the engineering of a cable and pulley system. Chandler recruited 20 volunteers for the project, organizing them into smaller groups to minimize the impact on nearby spawning bluegill. Working with the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor water quality and promote good environmental stewardship, Chandler demonstrated that the actions of committed volunteers can and do make a difference in improving the local community.
$1,000 Scholarship Winner – Ryan Falcona
St. Thomas High School, Houston, TX
When Ryan learned that litter, paint, and other pollutants were being dumped down his community’s storm drains and contaminating the water supply, he dedicated his Eagle Scout project to remedying the problem. Ryan developed and implemented an education campaign to prevent storm drain pollution and raise awareness about its negative effects. Winning approval and funding from local boards, Ryan organized and oversaw the installation of 300 drain markers warning of the hazards of littering in storm drains. He wrote bilingual flyers for contractors and distributed nearly 700 door hangers. As a result, his efforts have helped reduce trash and pollution in his community’s storm drains and have encouraged others to start similar programs in their neighborhoods.
$1,000 Scholarship Winner – Alana Zamora
San Marcos High School, San Marcos, TX
As a child, Alana remembers roadside highway signs that displayed the words, “Don’t mess with Texas.” But she didn’t realize their full meaning until she was a young adult and was saddened by the Styrofoam cups, paper bags, and other litter scattered along the road to her high school. Concerned about the community’s litter problem, she became involved in the Keep San Marcos Beautiful program and initiated an Adopt-a-Spot area surrounding her high school. She organized members of numerous student organizations to undertake monthly cleanups as a schoolwide effort, earning recognition from the City of San Marcos for their involvement in the Keep San Marcos Beautiful initiative.