The Great Lakes Bioneers are happy to announce this year's Youth Ambassador award winners. The Great Lakes Youth Ambassador Award is awarded to young people for their interest and actions in support of people and planet. Each student received $100 to be used for higher education or an earth-and-people-friendly project. The awards were announced during the Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council's 2012 Environmentalist of the Year Awards at the Park Place Dome in Traverse City on April 27th.
The awards were presented to:
Cailin Ashbaugh, senior at Benzie Central High School, is passionate about the responsible use of natural resources. She has become a strong advocate for recycling in her family. Her persistence has so far payed off, and her family has sent far less material to the landfill.
Abigale Racine, senior at Manistee High School, is the president of her high school's Green Team and is being honored for her work with that group. This year, under Abbi's leadership, the Green Team helped MMHS receive Emerald Green School Certification from Michgan Green Schools by initiating programs focused on recycling and increasing students awareness of environmental issues.
David Kincaid and Brandon Runstrom, members of the SEEDS Forest Area Youth Conservation Corps, have been involved in increasing peoples' access to natural areas by working on the South Manitou boardwalk project, the Sabin/Fox Den Trail building project, and the Rapid City/Alden trail and stairs. They also worked on projects to decrease river temperatures and increase oxygen levels and overall health of the Manistee River, Cedar River and the Flowing Well project on the Manistee River.
John Weatherholt, freshman at Kalkaska High School, is always the one who says, "let's walk instead of driving" or "let's go for a hike!" He encourages other students to go along with him. John also has an appreciation for eating local and nutritious foods and is always proud to take on any challenge in his school's Culinary Club. He sees the value in trying to fix something instead of just throwing it away to buy a new one.
John Schaefer, 7th grader at Brethren Middle School, participates in every science activity and has amazing ideas! He's an avid explorer of renewable energy technologies and has participated in the Bioneers Conference for the passed two years.
These students are all participants in SEEDS After School programs. "We are really excited to utilize the bioneers network to help foster the leadership of these young people," said Sarna Salzman, Executive Director of SEEDS, "It is our great hope that they will continue to support activities that heal our ecosystems wherever they go and for many years."