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Three Dallas-Fort Worth Area Students Win Keep Texas Beautiful and Don't mess with Texas College Scholarships

AUSTIN (May 8, 2014) - Paying for college just got a little easier for Sonia Campos (Dr. Ralph H. Poteet High School, Mesquite), Caroline Carr (Trinity High School, Euless) and Krystal Johnson (Lamar High School, Arlington). The three students were recognized for their work promoting a litter-free community and each recieved a scholarship from Keep Texas Beautiful the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Don't mess with Texas Scholarship.

Campos, Carr and Johnson were three of the more than 700 Texas high school seniors who applied for this year's Don't mess with Texas scholarships. Applications were judged based on student essays detailing creative solutions to litter problems.

"Winners of the Don't Mess with Texas scholarship exemplify not only hard work in the classroom but a commitment to litter prevention in their communities," said Margo Richards, Travel Information Division Director at TxDOT.

The three scholarship recipients were recognized for the following:

  • Campos ensures youth in her community stay engaged in the fight against littering as an intern for Keep Mesquite Beautiful and president of the organization's Youth Environmental Leaders.
  • Carr worked with the city of Bedford's public works department to design and install 10 interactive signs at community parks with creeks, asking people to help keep the creeks clean.
  • Johnson directed, filmed and produced a public service announcement concerning the littering problem at her high school and in her city and worked with her church's youth group to conduct monthly "Trashenger Hunts" to collect trash in Arlington's public spaces.

"Texans ages 16 to 34 are those who are most likely to litter, so it's important that we reach them while they are young to teach them how to prevent litter in their schools and hometowns," said Cathie Gail, Executive Director, Keep Texas Beautiful. "Caroline, Sonia and Krystal are leading the charge in their communities to keep our state litter-free and beautiful, so we wanted to recognize their efforts with these scholarships."

The 11th annual Don't mess with Texas Scholarship recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities and build awareness of the Don't mess with Texas initiative. The scholarship contest, sponsored by real estate and oil and gas company Forestar and in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, accepted applications from high school seniors currently attending public, private or home school and planning to attend an accredited Texas university or college next year.

The contest awards one $3,000 scholarship and two $1,000 scholarships to students planning to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited university or college in Texas. Carr was selected for the $3,000 scholarship. Campos and Johnson will each receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Information can be found at www.dontmesswithtexas.org.

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