TxDOT Community Cleanup Contest Deadline Nears

Don't Mess With Texas trash can
Don't Mess With Texas trash can | Image by Texas DOT

The application deadline for the Texas Department of Transportation’s anti-litter scholarship program is rapidly approaching.

TxDOT announced back in February that it was accepting applications for its annual “Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship Contest.” According to the agency, the competition is open to all high school seniors in the state who plan on attending a college or trade school this upcoming fall.

Participants in the contest were asked to create anti-litter events and programs to clean up areas in their communities in accordance with the “Don’t Mess with Texas” litter prevention and beautification initiative. Students must describe how they identified a local litter problem, their solution to the issue, the inspiration behind the solution, how they motivated others to help, and the results of their projects.

Judges will select two winners, each of whom will be given $5,000 to use towards their higher education.

Past winners include Hayden Foltz and Neddah Abdella. Foltz, then a senior at Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy in Greenville, created the “Trashy Tuesday” campaign, in which students were organized to collect litter around their campus after school on Tuesdays. Abdella, who attended Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville, was a leader of the Environmental Club at her school, which developed a litter management plan for the school’s campus as well as an on-campus recycling program.

“It’s important that future generations feel empowered to create long-term, sustainable solutions to make their communities litter-free. Our state is counting on these leaders to keep Texas litter-free for decades to come,” said Norma Rios, program coordinator for TxDOT’s Don’t Mess with Texas campaign, in a press release.

All applications must be received by 5 p.m. on April 2. To apply, click here.

Dallas has recently seen different groups step up to clean up various parts of the city, with over 1,000 coming out to pick up trash in Fair Park ahead of Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year. A poll conducted by The Dallas Express last year indicated that a majority of Dallasites are unhappy with the amount of trash and litter on city streets and disapprove of City officials’ response to the ongoing issue.

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