Three Texas High School Students Win Don’t mess with Texas® College Scholarships

JUNE 23, 2015


AUSTIN – While members of Generation Z and Millennials (16 to 34 year olds) continue to litter more than any other age groups, three Texas high school students are doing their parts to keep their communities trash-free and have been recognized for their efforts as this year’s recipients of Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarships.

The Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship program recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities. The contest awards one $6,000 grand prize scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships to high school seniors currently attending public, private or home school who plan to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited university or college in Texas starting in the summer or fall.

The scholarship program is a partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) and is sponsored by real estate and oil and gas company Forestar. Scholarship applications are judged based on student essays detailing creative and/or sustainable solutions to prevent litter, encourage anti-littering behaviors and to build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas® initiative.

“We’re proud to support the efforts of Texas high school seniors who have made a difference in their communities to prevent litter. Giving back through the Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship program helps make the higher education dreams of our state’s most creative and dedicated young people a reality,” said Jim DeCosmo, Forestar’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

This year’s scholarship recipients include:

  • Marisol Martinez of Collegiate High School in Corpus Christi, who won a $6,000 scholarship,
  • Jaclyn Muniz of William J. Brennan High School in San Antonio, who won a $2,000 scholarship, and
  • Charlotte Lichtenheld of McCallum High School in Austin, who won a $2,000 scholarship.

“Winners of the Don’t mess with Texas scholarship exemplify not only hard work in the classroom but a commitment to litter prevention in their communities,” said De J. Lozada, Travel Information Division director for TxDOT. “These three students are helping build awareness among their peers about the importance of keeping our state and our environment litter-free.”

This year marks the 12th year of the Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship contest with a record 1,456 applications submitted. Throughout its history, the scholarship program has provided more than $60,000 in college scholarships to Texas high school seniors. Winners were awarded at the Keep Texas Beautiful Conference held in Fort Worth on June 17, 2015.

Information on the program and recent scholarship winners can be found at


Keep Texas Beautiful
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement organization and affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their community environment. KTB and its more than 360 affiliates work with government, businesses, civic groups and volunteers to ensure that every Texans has the opportunity to take individual responsibility for making Texas the cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. For more information about KTB, visit, follow us on Twitter at @keeptxbeautiful and like us on Facebook at @keeptxbeautiful.

Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. TxDOT and its 11,000 employees are committed to working with others to provide safe and reliable transportation solutions for Texas by maintaining a safe system, addressing congestion, connecting Texas communities, and being a Best in Class state agency. Find out more at Fan us on Facebook,; and follow us on Twitter, Don’t mess with Texas® is a registered trademark owned by the Texas Department of Transportation. For more information visit