2019 Grand Prize Scholarship Winner Dean Defendorf

AUSTIN – Dean Defendorf of Boerne, Texas, has been selected as the grand prize winner in the 2019 “Don’t mess with Texas” scholarship contest. Dean was awarded a $8,000 college scholarship which he will apply toward his studies in aerospace engineering at Texas A&M University.

The “Don’t mess with Texas” scholarship contest is presented annually in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who demonstrate a leadership role in preventing litter in their schools and communities while building awareness of the “Don’t mess with Texas” litter-prevention campaign. A total of $18,000 in scholarships was awarded to four high school seniors. The 2019 scholarships were sponsored by iHeartMedia, PunchDrunk Digital and the Moody Foundation.

While a senior at Boerne Champion High School, Dean was struck by the number of students he saw improperly disposing of trash on the campus. It spurred him to create the Campus Clean-Up Initiative. Through his role as president of the National Honor Society, Dean jumpstarted the effort which sought to educate students on litter prevention and encourage them to properly dispose of their trash. He led a group of volunteers in hosting regular clean-ups of the school campus. This effort led him to join the Adopt-A-Highway program and recruit a clean-up crew composed of members from his school’s golf team.

“Don’t mess with Texas” has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature initiative for TxDOT’s litter prevention initiatives which include Adopt-a-Highway, a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and the community outreach and cleanup event — the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off. For additional information on “Don’t mess with Texas,” visit Dontmesswithtexas.org.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT Media Relations at [email protected] or (512) 463-8700.