The “Don’t mess with Texas” litter prevention campaign started 30 years ago, before today’s high school seniors were born, but Eugena Choice of Dulles High School in Sugar Land is being recognized by Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for her effort to share the program’s litter-prevention message with her community with $2,000 to help pay for college as a recipient of the 2016 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship.
Choice was one of more than 1,300 Texas high school seniors who applied for the 2016 Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship, which recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities.
Choice was awarded the scholarship based on the leadership she has demonstrated to protecting the environment in her community. She has been a member of Dulles High School’s environmental club, Dulles Green, since her freshman year, including serving as the club’s communications officer and vice president. She also served as a member of the Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Advisory Board, participating in a number of service and educational projects. In 2015, Choice organized her own clean-up project for Sugar Land Memorial Park, collecting litter and sharing flyers about the consequences of littering. Choice was recognized at the Dulles High School awards ceremony on May 20.
Winning entries were selected based on essays that students submitted detailing creative and/or sustainable solutions they promoted to prevent litter and build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas initiative.
“As the number of residents in our state continues to grow, it’s important to share the message that keeping our state and environment litter free is a Texas value,” said Suzanne Kho, executive director of Keep Texas Beautiful. “Eugena Choice is helping to build that awareness among her generation, and we are pleased to honor her work with this scholarship.”
The scholarship is a partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT and is sponsored by real estate company Forestar. The annual contest awards one $6,000 grand prize scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships to Texas 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. This year’s scholarship recipients also included Nely Munoz of Utopia and Destiny Scaief of Woden.
This is the 13th year of the Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship contest. Since its inception, the scholarship program has provided more than $70,000 in college scholarships to Texas high school seniors.
Information about the program and recent scholarship winners can be found at www.dontmesswithtexas.org/education/scholarship.php.