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Passion and Action – President’s Environmental Youth Awards

2009 November 20

Do you have a passion for the environment? Have you put the passion into action? Well, you need to let us know and learn about the President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA). PEYA is an award program for students K – 12th grade. Whether you completed an environmental awareness project as an individual, a group, or class, you are eligible, and encouraged, to apply.

image of PEYA logoI have been managing the PEYA program in EPA’s Region 1office for over 5 years. It is one of my favorite programs in the agency and is truly a hidden gem. So many students create projects centered around the environment. How cool is it to be recognized for your passion with an award ceremony in Washington, DC, potentially meeting President Obama, and hanging out with kids from across the country with the same passion for the environment as you. I am always amazed and impressed with the scope and depth of some of the projects submitted. I have had winners who have created a rain garden behind their town hall to prevent runoff from contaminating the river behind it; an Eagle Scout who created a program to have fisherman use an alternative weight to lead sinkers; an afterschool group who created an energy audit and program for its school district and so many more.

The regional award program is conducted once a year, and each of the 10 EPA regions selects a regional winner. Each regional winner is invited to an EPA-sponsored award ceremony in Washington, DC and receives a presidential plague.

I never get bored with students’ passion and action towards the environment. We want to read about your great projects and EPA knows you have worked hard on a project so why not get some recognition? You can get the program details (including applications deadlines), check out previous winning projects for inspiration, and get the application at Get the credit you deserve for putting your passion into action and making the environment a cleaner, healthier place, and remember, it’s never too early to start a project for next year!

About the author: Kristen Conroy is the Environmental Education Coordinator in the EPA Reg 1’s Boston region. Kristen has been with EPA since 1991.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Jorge Gerônimo Hipólito permalink
    November 20, 2009

    I have an idea for President Obama, as well as to all school principals. Deploy to all schools a bed of seedlings of native trees. Students under the supervision of a technician take care of the seedlings to reach the stage of planting them in the streets, avenues, squares and around the springs. Ah, could also deploy beds of seedlings in all cities and that would be administered by mayors. The trees produced were planted on the banks of rivers. Do you agree or not?

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    November 20, 2009

    I am jealous to EPA, who begin PEYA since 1971.
    Here, it’s called KALPATARU award, but not for K – 12th grade like yours’.

    Dogmatism cultured in our country is one of barriers of youth generation to developt their creativities. In the cities is looser than villages. So, not easy to create your event here. Congratulation !

  3. Jackenson Durand permalink
    November 20, 2009

    It is easier to born with passion than make it a challenge.
    My passion for environment has been coming from a particular aspiration for “literature” and nature.
    This nature admiration brings this environment passion.
    I have been using any kind of philosophy strategic to “spread the word” by making my closer surrounding people to reconsider the nature’s beauty.
    I have been dreaming to recreate my native Country environment on a long-term projection.

  4. Mrs. Energy Auditor permalink
    November 21, 2009

    This sounds like a great opportunity for the youth that would like to make a change in the environment and communities. The for those that have a passion to help in the solar energy, being and energy author, taking up environmental studies in college, this programs seems to be what will help lead you in the right direct. Happy to see there is a program for the youth that focuses on conserving energy. They are the future.

  5. Jorge Gerônimo hipólito permalink
    November 21, 2009

    Moderador, por favor, desconsidere o meu ponto de vista anterior, haja vista, a tradução incorreta.
    Muito obrigado!

    Sugestão ao Presidente Obama.

    Todas as escolas implantariam um viveiro de mudas de árvores. Na medida em que as sementes germinassem já receberiam o carinho dos alunos e quando atingissem maior altura seriam plantadas nas ruas, avenidas e praças.

    Os Prefeitos das cidades também implantariam viveiros, no entanto, as árvores seriam plantadas nas margens dos rios e das nascentes e formariam também as reservas florestais. Na minha opinião seria um forma de incentivar e conscientizar os jovens quanto a importância do verde, obviamente, com a participação do governo.

  6. Johnny R. permalink
    November 23, 2009

    The most urgent need today is recycling the trash that washes up on the beaches. Volunteers are needed for local initiatives in almost all communities in almost every nation, because many tons of garbage are being dumped into the ocean every day, causing a massive build-up of plastic debris that will not degrade for many years and is being ingested by sea birds, dolphins, whales and other sea life whose feeding instinct cannot distinguish between real food and trash. Yet, our growing population and our growing economy produce more garbage every day. This will stop, either by social reform or the toxic collapse of one bio-region after another until it is too late to reverse it. To do nothing is to admit defeat.

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