PennDOT and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are inviting 10th-12th grade students from around the state to help keep Pennsylvania clean and beautiful through the Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania program.
The program seeks to build community stewards and civic leaders by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to not only keep their communities clean and beautiful but also to become ambassadors in their community for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Applicants should be passionate about the environment and committed to making Pennsylvania the best place to live, work and play through volunteerism and leadership.
The Young Ambassadors program provides opportunities for high school students to train and network with industry leaders, state agencies, local media and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network to increase leadership and problem-solving skills and prepare them to continue to make differences in their communities and beyond.
"Young people across the Commonwealth are instrumental in the effort to curb litter and environmental degradation, now and in the future," said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. "It's inspiring to see the rising stewards of Pennsylvania's environment taking on such an active role in clean-up efforts around the state."
"We are honored to offer the Young Ambassadors Program in partnership with PennDOT for the second year. The program exceeded our expectations last year, so we are eager to meet the new slate of students with the passion to implement change in their communities and the commonwealth," said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. "We hope to not only inspire a sense of community ownership but also highlight the importance of engaging community members, local businesses and organizations in identifying issues and partnering to find solutions."
Chosen candidates will commit to serve as an Ambassador from October 2023 through May 2024 and represent and uphold the mission and values of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.
Other responsibilities include:
- attending 6 mandatory virtual education sessions;
- conducting a community assessment and creating a summary presentation;
- organizing and participating in at least one community cleanup event through pick up Pennsylvania and conducting one community education event or activity.
There will also be non-mandatory education sessions from a variety of topics.
Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will provide education and training to program participants on such topics related to the impact of litter on roadways, litter prevention, waste management and recycling, civic engagement and related public policy, volunteer management, and social media marketing. The program will provide networking opportunities to not only build a sense of community within the program but also to promote professional development of the individual students. In addition, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has partnered with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation to provide Job Shadow Days to select Ambassadors.
The Young Ambassadors program was recommended in the commonwealth's Litter Action Plan announced by the Governor's Office in November 2021 and is funded by PennDOT.
Applications are being accepted August 1 through September 14. Students will be chosen through a competitive application process. Students interested in applying should visit keeppabeautiful.org and choose Programs, Education then Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania or contact Kylie McCutcheon at 724-836-4121 x114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.