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Moscow, Pa. High School Student Receives Presidential Environmental Youth Award

Release Date: 05/13/2009
Contact Information: Donna Heron 215-814-5113 / heron.donna@epa.gov

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 13, 2009) -- Ryan Morgan, a junior at North Pocono High School, was one of 10 individuals or teams of students recognized today by EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson.

The occasion was the 2008 President’s Environmental Youth Awards (PEYA) ceremony. The students, who came from Derry, N.H.; Pittsford, N.Y.; Moscow, Pa; Lewisville, N.C.; Chesterland, Ohio; Edmond, Okla.; Scottsbluff, Neb.; Provo, Utah; San Leandro, Calif.; and Kenai, Alaska, were honored for their outstanding contributions to environmental protection through projects that help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and protect America’s waters.

“The President joins me in honoring these students for leading the way towards a brighter future for their communities and our planet,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “In each of these amazing projects we see our country’s future for clean energy, preservation, healthy communities and a well-protected planet.

These dedicated youth developed projects in both urban and rural settings that involved hundreds of community members, educators, policy makers and national celebrities in environmental science research, community recycling, wetlands and coastal ecosystem education and restoration, energy conservation and climate change education campaigns.

Ryan Morgan captured the EPA spotlight with his Project Greenlight, a successful plan to distribute one free CFL bulb to members of his community. The original goal was 300 bulbs. But through a combination of fund-raising activities, contributions and purchase discounts, he was able to amass 2,000 bulbs, which were distributed at school and community events.

Along the way, Ryan gained valuable entrepreneurial, marketing and publicity skills as well as experience in public speaking and Power Point design by giving presentations to organizations such as the Moscow City Council and the Lions Club.

He was one of 22 teens nationwide to be named an Eco-/ambassador in the Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth competition and also organized an environmental club at his high school.

Winners were selected from among applicants to EPA’s 10 regional offices. Regional EPA panels judged the projects on environmental need, accomplishments of goals, long-term environmental benefits and positive impact on local communities. The panels also consider project design, coordination, implementation, innovation and soundness of approach.

PEYA has been presented annually since 1971 to honor students in kindergarten through 12th grade who design and implement innovative environmental projects.

More information on winners and project descriptions: http://www.epa.gov/peya/peya2008.html