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EPA Administrator Recognizes Local High School Conservation Club With President’s Volunteer Service Award

Release Date: 05/12/2008
Contact Information: Dawn Harris-Young, EPA Media Relations, (404)562-8421

(Atlanta, Ga. – May 12, 2008) Today, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson honored the Southwestern High School Conservation Club and Raptor Center from Somerset, Ky., via video conference with the President’s Volunteer Service Award. EPA Regional Chief of Staff Don Christy presented the award to high school junior Adrian Tapp and other Club members, along with Club Sponsor and science teacher, Frances Carter.

This nationally recognized Conservation Club and Raptor Center was honored for the numerous hours the high school students volunteer to care for injured birds of prey, as well as their efforts to clean up communities, build trails, recycle and conduct water testing. The more than 90 Club members each volunteer about 250 hours a year.

“Today we honor members of the Southwestern High School Conservation Club and Raptor Center from Somerset, Ky., for answering President Bush's call to serve a cause greater than themselves,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “Dedicated volunteers like Adrian Tapp and her fellow students are inspiring others to join them in delivering America a brighter, healthier future."

During his travels across the country, Administrator Johnson meets with students like the volunteers with the Conservation Club and Raptor Center who are answering the call to service, environmental education and pollution prevention.

Southwestern High School is one of a few high schools in the United States to operate a raptor rehabilitation center. Students volunteer to feed, exercise and provide limited medical care to the birds, as well as maintain the facility. The center houses two bald eagles, a golden eagle, several red tailed hawks, owls and other birds of prey. The Club is featured in Environmental Science, a high school science textbook.

In his January 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to make a difference in their communities through volunteer service. He created USA Freedom Corps, an Office of the White House, to strengthen and expand volunteer service. Americans are responding to the President’s Call to Service. Go to www.volunteer.gov or call 1-877-USA-CORPS to find an existing volunteer service opportunity in your area or to find more information about service programs, including national service programs such as the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Citizen Corps. USA Freedom Corps is also highlighting youth volunteer service. Visit www.volunteerkids.gov for games and ideas to see how America's youth are making a difference.

The President's Volunteer Service Award was created at the President’s direction by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The Award is available to youth ages 14 and under who have completed 50 or more hours of volunteer service; to individuals 15 and older who have completed 100 or more hours; and to families or groups who have completed 200 or more hours. For more information about the Award, please visit www.presidentialserviceawards.gov.