Don’t mess with Texas 2020 Scholarship Contest Winner

AUSTIN –Ethan Lum, a recent graduate of James Bowie High School in Simms, has been selected as a winner in the 2020 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest. Lum was awarded a $1,500 college scholarship that he will apply toward his studies in fisheries and wildlife conservation biology at Arkansas Tech University.

The Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship Contest is presented annually in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and recognizes the achievements of Texas 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 $13,500 in scholarships was awarded to four high school seniors. The 2020 scholarships were sponsored by iHeartMedia, Buc-ee’s, the Houston Astros Foundation and San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment.

Ethan’s passion for the outdoors led him to build three monofilament receptacles, after attending a Texas Coastal Brigade Camp. After learning monofilament materials are polluting waterways and harming fish and other wildlife, he built the receptacles and  worked to register them with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Corps of Engineers. He then partnered with a Texas Park Ranger to place them at Wright Patman Lake, which spans Bowie and Cass counties. It is estimated each receptacle will serve up to 300 users.

Don’t mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature program 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

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