MANASSAS, VA. July 26, 2017 – American Disposal Services is proud to announce that three local students were awarded the 2017 American Disposal Services Environmental Impact Scholarship. High school graduates Taylor Kitchen of Lake Braddock Secondary School in Fairfax County, Valerie Knowles of Park View High School in Loudoun County and Parker Velez of Brentsville District High School in Prince William County were selected by an internal panel through an application process based on merit, recommendation, and essay. The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $2,500.00 per student.
“The number of applicants was astonishing, and it was difficult to select just three students.” – Robyn Harter, District Sales Manager American Disposal Services
On July 19, 2017, American Disposal Services invited the students and their families to the American Recycling Center for an awards brunch which included an educational tour of the facility and the presenting of scholarship checks to each student. The students also shared details about their future plans including college, careers and new environmental endeavors.
Taylor Kitchen plans to study Biology at James Madison University in the Fall with hopes to become a Veterinarian or Nurse. She wants to join the runners club on campus and find local community groups that support her environmental focus of waste reducing solutions and cleanup. In Taylor’s application essay, she shared her advocacy efforts in changing her school’s cafeteria serving trays from Styrofoam to a recyclable resource and advocated for more recycling bins on school property. When asked what her environmental inspiration was, Taylor said, “My family always uses cloth bags instead of plastic and recycles in our home, but my AP environmental science class really showed me the real effect we have on our environment and understand the things we can do to make a difference.”
Valerie Knowles will attend Coastal Carolina University (CCU) in the Fall under the Marine Science program with an Environmental Science minor. She attended orientation at CCU early in July and found organizations such as scuba diving. She plans to become a certified scuba diver to help build her career as a marine scientist.
Valerie’s application shared her environmental passion through her education at Monroe Technology Center. In her Environmental Plant Science class, one of the class projects included planting trees by local streams to help absorb pollutants before they enter the waterways.
Parker Velez was accepted to Delaware Valley University and hopes to study Animal Science or Criminal Justice. He will also be playing on the University’s football team. Parker’s scholarship application shared his commitment to Future Farmers of America (FFA), focusing on horticulture.
Parker involved the recycling method Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by collecting unused planter pots from his community and other reusable material. In doing this he was able to support the annual FFA fundraiser where they sell plants grown and cared for at Brentsville District High School greenhouse.
The American Disposal Environmental Impact Scholarship was created in 2012 to encourage community youth to continue their environmental impacts throughout their education and adulthood. The scholarship is offered to local communities and is an annual scholarship for graduating seniors with plans to attend post-secondary education.
“Giving back to our community is a very important part of American Disposal’s mission. Being able to help these students fulfill their environmental goals is very gratifying to us. These future leaders deserve the opportunity to make a positive difference in our world. We wish Taylor, Valerie and Parker all the best.” – Kevin Edwards, General Manager American Disposal Services.