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One Amazing Accomplishment from One Teenager

2010 July 13

A colleague of mine suggested I read about a runner-up President’s Environmental Youth Award applicant named Jordyn. I started reading Jordyn’s application and thought to myself, “wow, she was a runner-up?”, she should be named the young environmentalist of the year!

After reading that 80% of waterways tested in 30 states had trace amounts of pharmaceuticals and hearing about “pharm parties,” where teens bring pills from home, mix them in a bowl, and blindly take a couple, Jordyn decided to take action! Jordyn, a freshman at the time, decided to create WI P2D2 (Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal) to educate her town about prescription-drug abuse and environmentally safe pill disposal.

JordynJordyn used some amazingly inventive communication tools to deliver her message including; a “Phil the Pill” costume, and a clear glass of water in which she placed pills and asked her audience if they would now like to take a drink. None of them did!

She secured a community drop-box for unwanted pills, used Facebook, YouTube, and T-shirts to get the word out, and persuaded local pharmacists and police officers to help.

Jordyn is the first teen to have written and been awarded state and local grants to secure funds for a drug collection event. At her first event, Jordyn collected an astonishing 440 pounds of drugs! Her accomplishments have been featured in numerous media outlets in both America and Canada.

Jordyn’s program is a perfect example of a multi-disiplinary solution to a multi-faceted local problem. If even a small percentage of the upcoming generations are as successful at improving their environment as Jordyn, I believe the environment will be in great hands. It strikes me that if a teenager can accomplish so much, as adult environmentalists we should follow her example, and never accept anything but complete success. Maybe we can convince her to work for EPA one day!

About the author: Wendy Dew has been with EPA for 13 years and is the Environmental Education and Outreach Coordinator for Region 8.

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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14 Responses leave one →
  1. Lisa permalink
    July 13, 2010

    This is awesome!! The key is getting more of our youth involved in projects such as this one. How can we set up a collection site in Georgia to support this movement?

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    July 13, 2010

    Good work Jordyn….!!! Your idea bringing to us to redefine : “Who are the environmentalists and how they’re create its ?”.

  3. tomas permalink
    July 13, 2010

    Hello Wendy

    For Jordyn that move wasn’t work it was a fun and ethical thing to do. So please if you ever ask her to work for EPA , don’t. Because replacing want to with have to is a culture we don’t want to inherit.
    Take care

  4. Wendy permalink
    July 13, 2010

    You can find out more at this website:

  5. Ambrosia permalink
    July 13, 2010

    Tomas, Do you know Jordyn? If not, how do you know what she wants to do?

  6. Ambrosia permalink
    July 13, 2010

    I have never heard of “pharm parties” before. Scary stuff!

  7. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    July 13, 2010

    Tomas, one nice thing about working at EPA is that people here really believe in EPA’s mission. I’ve worked for EPA for 17 years, and I’ve been passionate about my work from day 1. I’m here because I believe in the work, not because I have to work here.

  8. Joan permalink
    July 13, 2010

    Wendy…thanks for featuring a story about this amazing young lady.
    Way to go Jordyn!!!

  9. Dr Eric Berg permalink
    July 14, 2010

    Jordyn did a great job. may she’ll be an inspiration to us in preserving our environment. definitely she’s a young environmentalist. keep up the good work Jordyn!

  10. Kristinn permalink
    July 14, 2010

    Wendy — great post! Thanks for highlighting Jordyn’s work and inspiring us through her and your enthusiasm!

  11. Paul Ritter permalink
    July 15, 2010

    Jordyn is a Champion. Our children are the future. We have students across the USA doing the P2D2 program but I will have to say that Jordyn is the best of the very best. She did it all by herself. There is a meeting in Toccoa, Georgia on the 26 and 27 of July to set up p2d2 for Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Our new website link is We will be putting on more meetings as the year goes on. We also have P2D2 education curriculum in a binder (free) and online that was developed by the Illinois Indiana Sea Grant, and printed by the US EPA. Drop me a line if you would like us to set up a meeting for your area. Thank you for all you do.
    Paul Ritter
    National P2D2 Program Coordinator

  12. Julie permalink
    July 24, 2010

    It’s always good to read about teens doing good things such as this.

  13. Rangeen Khan permalink
    September 1, 2010

    its good efforts

  14. Susan permalink
    September 27, 2010

    Holy Cow! I wish that I had Jordyn’s spunk when I was that age!

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