Two Dallas-area high school seniors have been chosen as winners in the 2020 Don't mess with Texas scholarship contest.
Ximena Coronado, a recent graduate of Garland High School, was awarded a $5,000 college scholarship that she'll use in her education at New York University where she's planning to major in environmental studies.
Caleb Shaw, a recent graduate of W.W. Samuell High School in the Dallas ISD, received a $3,000 scholarship. He plans to attend Richland College and the University of North Texas where his focus will be on interactive simulation and game technology.
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Coronado and Shaw are among four high school seniors who were awarded $13,500 in scholarships. Alyssa Lee, of Elkins High School in Missouri City and Ethan Lum, of Bowie High School in Simms, also won scholarships of $4,000 and $1,500, respectively.
Coronado created her school's first environmental club to educate students on the importance of recycling. To support its mission, the club lobbied the Garland Independent School District to provide recycling bins to teachers at Garland High School. Coronado would later spearhead a two-year effort to implement single-stream recycling in all of the GISD's 72 schools. Passionate about the environment, she spends her spare time speaking to groups across the Dallas area about recycling.
Shaw volunteered at Pleasant Grove Elementary School, teaching students about the importance of keeping Texas litter-free. His lessons also emphasized that picking up trash meant caring for animals. Shaw's efforts extended to his high school where he hosted a petition drive for students to pledge to do their part to keep Texas clean. He also developed a campus beautification project and planted bluebonnets in a Texas-shaped garden.
The Don't mess with Texas scholarship contest is put on annually in partnership with the Keep Texas Beautiful organization. The contest recognizes the achievements of Texas high school seniors who demonstrate leadership in preventing litter in their schools and communities while building awareness of the Don't Mess with Texas litter prevention campaign.
The 2020 scholarships are sponsored by iHeartMedia, Buc-ee's, the Houston Astros Foundation and San Antonio Spurs Sports & Entertainment.