Keep America Beautiful National Youth Advisory Council Creates Impact in Communities
Six high school students created and executed projects as National Youth Advisory Council members.
The Keep America Beautiful® National Youth Advisory Council (YAC) provides a unique opportunity for high school students from diverse backgrounds across the nation to participate in a service-learning and leadership development program. Keep America Beautiful annually selects students to provide a new perspective about the organization’s programs, while acting as ambassadors and leaders for youth service in their communities.
Students from Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee served on the 2018-19 YAC. As part of their program, they completed service projects in their local communities. Katie Joblon, Keep America Beautiful Youth and Education Programs Manager, oversees the program and mentors the students through their projects. Each student was given a $1,000 stipend to implement their project, which focused on ending littering, improving recycling, or beautifying communities.
- Conor Dougherty installed the first refillable water bottle station at a local high school that did not have one. Dougherty’s goal was to help reduce litter, encourage recycling, and provide water to students and staff.
- Founder of public outreach program Project L.E.A.D (Local Environmental Activist Development), Alexandria Henson raised awareness and educated local youth about conservation needs, implemented beach and community cleanups, provided seminars and programs on conservation, and provided networking opportunities for developing leaders.
- Madison Bell installed a community garden that included raised beds to allow use for people with disabilities. Bell plans to grow produce that will be donated to local food pantries.
- To beautify his school campus, Nathan Lissy focused on partnerships to revitalize school gardens and marshlands with new plants and the addition of a gravel trail. He also began to plant a native bee garden. Nathan plans to continue his current projects as well as improve a local trail and install trash receptacles along it.
- Also focusing on beautification, Christina Weatherford landscaped school gardens to include native plants and created a butterfly garden.
- Lakin Stevens’ project involved landscaping and beautification of the local area. He also partnered with Home Heroes program, which offers opportunities for veterans.
Madison, Alexandria, and Nathan have been selected to continue their projects and serve on the 2019-20 YAC class.