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Recycle Because You Care

2010 June 11
"Recycle Because You Care" Team, Region 5 PEYA winners

"Recycle Because You Care" Team, Region 5 PEYA winners

This was my first trip to Washington D.C. and it was amazing! We stayed at an awesome hotel. It was located right in between two Metro stations (the subway system in D.C.) We took the Metro everywhere. It was so convenient, clean and safe. I really enjoyed meeting all of the other President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) winners. Their projects were very interesting and covered a wide range of environmental issues. I feel honored to be included in such a smart and motivated group of students! The EPA regional coordinators and hosts were so nice. They made us all feel so special.

On the day we arrived, we met with Congressman Roskam who represents our district. It was neat to see his office and meet the people that work with him. We told him all about our project and he was very proud of us. He encouraged us to continue our efforts. Roskam’s staff assistant gave us a tour of the Capitol Building. It is enormous, beautiful and historic.

The next day was the awards ceremony and luncheon. This event was amazing! EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson gave a speech and presented the PEYA plaques to the winners. She seems like a very nice, smart woman. A great role model for us girls! The performers were fantastic and Philippe Cousteau, our luncheon speaker, was really inspiring. In between all the planned activities we had plenty of time to walk around and sightsee. We stopped in several of the Smithsonian museums, saw the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, Washington National Cathedral and more. And we didn’t even get to see it all!

The following day was probably the highlight of our trip. We got to meet President Barack Obama!!! He talked to the winners and said that we are changing the future today. He seemed genuinely excited about the work all of the teams had done. He even said he is eager to follow our progress as we continue our efforts in college and beyond. We took a picture with the President and he shook the hand of every PEYA winner.

This trip and all of the once in a lifetime experiences made me feel very important and want to continue our work. I also learned about the many careers out there in environment protection. This was probably one of the best experiences we could ever have. Thanks EPA for EVERYTHING!!

About the author: Maggie O’Brien is a middle school student from Addison, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Maggie, along with two other middle school students, recently received a Presidents Environmental Youth Award for a recycling project they developed and implemented, Recycle Because You Care.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations 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.

12 Responses leave one →
  1. armansyahardanis permalink
    June 11, 2010

    Your post are amazing, smart and new generation prospective.
    Congratulation ……!!!!

  2. Gary Binderim permalink
    June 11, 2010

    Maggie, you and your friends and all of the PEYA winners are important, because you give us hope for the future and help foster the belief that we can depend on each other for solutions to our environmental problems.

  3. Megan permalink
    June 11, 2010

    So glad you had such a positive experience! Be sure to spread the word about the recognition program.

  4. Joan permalink
    June 11, 2010

    Congratulations Maggie!
    You and all the students who took the initiative to enter this competition really are winners. This nation is lucky that it’s future rests in the hands of kids as smart and caring as you!

  5. ozan calar permalink
    June 12, 2010

    thanks to the conscious youth students and new generations our future will be guaranteed against wicked people.

  6. Timothy Williams permalink
    June 12, 2010

    cONGRADULATIONS YOUNG LADY YOU ARE A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FUTUR WITH YOUR ACTIVITIES AS A RESULT OF YOUR VISIONARY CONQUEST. YOUR REWARDS ARE JUST BEGINING. YOU ARE THE CATALYST FOR OTHER YOUTH AND ADULTS TO BEGIN TO RECOGNIZE WHAT IS REQUIRED TO KEEP AMERICA BEAUTIFUL. I HOPE YOU CONTINUE TO STUDY SUSTAINABLE ENERGY, THE WORLD WILL BE YOUR OYSTER. AGAIN CONGRADS.

  7. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    June 13, 2010

    The work you and all the winners are doing is very important. And that students have such a great interest in environmental issues is of great importance, too, and will carry over for a lifetime. Terrific and best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  8. Jason permalink
    June 13, 2010

    nice work EPA for encouraging young people like Maggie to get enthusiastic about the environment, we are seeing a growing consciousness that is slowly but surely starting to penetrate all generations, including even traditional fleet managers who are working to achieve SmartWay certification to improve air quality, minimizing excessive idling using fleet management software such as telogis fleet, which i noticed is really emphasizing the whole green fleet movement. great stuff!

  9. jamith permalink
    June 14, 2010

    So it was your amazing experience, congratulations! This post really motivate other students also to take interest in environmental issues and try to protect our environment. –

  10. Jesús Torres Navarro permalink
    June 14, 2010

    ¡Felicidades!
    Por el premio y me alegro de que hayan vivido una muy agradable experiencia; ahora a continuar con el ánimo en alto y a redoblar esfuerzos para proteger nuestro Medio Ambiente

  11. john permalink
    June 14, 2010

    Indeed looks like an amazing time. Thanks for sharing this experience with us.

  12. Anonymous permalink
    July 17, 2010

    Wow, I really appreciate all of the positive feedback everyone!!
    We started with a question and wanted to work on an answer that everyone would be able to live with. We were impressed by how our community responded and we hope to help educate many surrounding communities with our model.
    Thanks again,
    Angel Loizzo

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