Climate for Action: President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA)

About the Author: Loreal Crumbley, a senior at George Mason University, is an intern with EPA’s Environmental Education Division through EPA’s Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP).

image of PEYA emblemAs some of you may know the EPA manages the President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA). This program involves young Americans who are dedicated to helping protect and create a better environment. Each year young people across the United States are invited to participate in this program. The program recognizes students for their work in school classrooms, youth organizations, summer camps, and individual projects. The youths who win PEYA awards are environmental stewards who have worked on projects to promote environmental awareness and community involvement.

I know there are plenty of PEYA candidates across this country who have worked to improve the environment and the community that they live in. Visit the PEYA website for more information on the program and the application form.
There are a few eligibility requirements that you must meet before applying:

  1. The project can be done by an individual student, but it must be completed while students are in kindergarten through 12th grade
  2. Participants must be citizens of the United States, its territories, or lawfully admitted to the U.S for permanent residency
  3. The project is sponsored by at least one adult.

Qualified applicants will receive a certificate honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment. Once an application and project are submitted to the Regional office for consideration in the national competition, a regional recognition certificate is issued. The regional recognition certificate program is conducted year-round; therefore applications can be submitted at any time, however the submission deadline for consideration in the PEYA National Award Program is December 31st.

The national competition is conducted once a year consisting of all of the projects submitted to the Regional office. After this deadline, the regional award panel for each of EPA’s 10 regional offices will review the applications and select an outstanding project to represent that region and receive a presidential plaque at EPA’s National PEYA Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

I’m sure you are all are wondering what types of projects have won the national awards. Some included climate change, electronics recycling, water quality monitoring, and air quality reform. For more in-depth project descriptions please visit our PEYA website.

I urge you to apply for this prestigious award. Your efforts to protect our environment should be rewarded!!! If you have any questions about the PEYA program leave a comment and I will get back to you!!

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