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Three Texas High School Students Win Don’t mess with Texas® College Scholarships

High school seniors recognized for their work promoting litter-free communities

Austin,Texas (PR MediaRelease) May 25, 2016

As the Don’t mess with Texas® litter prevention campaign celebrates 30 years of keeping Texas roadways litter-free, three Texas high school students are being honored by Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) for their litter-prevention efforts with 2016 Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarships.

Nely Munoz, Eugena Choice and Destiny Scaief were three of more than 1,300 Texas high school seniors who applied for this year’s scholarships. Their winning entries were selected based on essays they submitted detailing creative and/or sustainable solutions they promoted to prevent litter and build awareness of the Don’t mess with Texas® initiative.

“We are proud to recognize these young leaders of tomorrow with Don’t mess with Texas scholarships,” said Joan Henderson, Travel Information Director at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). “People ages 16 to 34 are those most likely to litter, and these three winners display a commitment to preventing litter in their communities that will keep Texas beautiful for years to come.”

This year’s scholarship recipients were recognized for the following projects:

  • Nely Munoz of Utopia High School in Utopia won a $6,000 scholarship for her efforts to clean up trash and change the recycling habits in her community by personally cleaning up trash along Highway 187 between Utopia and Vanderpool, educating her peers through classroom presentations and other activities, and encouraging local businesses to adopt Highway 187 from Utopia to Vanderpool. Munoz will be recognized for her scholarship award at the Utopia High School graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 28.
  • Eugena Choice of Dulles High School in Sugar Land won a $2,000 scholarship for her commitment to environmental protection by taking a leadership role in her school environmental club and her active participation in the Keep Sugar Land Beautiful Youth Advisory Board, including spearheading her own clean-up event at Sugar Land Memorial Park. Choice will be recognized at the Dulles High School awards ceremony on Friday, May 20.
  • Destiny Scaief of Woden High School in Woden won a $2,000 scholarship for growing the Woden High School recycling club into a program with active student involvement, as well as becoming president of the Environmental Science Club, which makes weekly collections. The club has collected more than 3,000 pounds of recyclable materials. Scaief will be recognized at the Woden High School awards ceremony on Monday, May 23.

The Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship program recognizes the achievements of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities. The program is a partnership between Keep Texas Beautiful and TxDOT and is sponsored by real estate company Forestar.

The annual contest awards one $6,000 grand prize scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships to Texas high school seniors currently attending public, private or home school who plan to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited university or college in Texas starting in the summer or fall. Winners will be awarded at the Keep Texas Beautiful Conference held in Sugar Land on June 21, 2016.

This is the 13th year of the Don’t mess with Texas® Scholarship contest. Since its inception, the program has provided more than $70,000 in college scholarships to Texas high school seniors.

Information about the program and recent scholarship winners can be found at



Keep Texas Beautiful
Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB), a statewide grassroots environmental and community improvement organization and
affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, strives to educate and engage Texans to take responsibility for improving their
community environment. KTB and its more than 390 affiliates work with government, businesses, civic groups and
volunteers to ensure that every Texan has the opportunity to take individual responsibility for making Texas the
cleanest, most beautiful state in the nation. For more information about KTB, visit, follow us on Twitter at
@keeptxbeautiful and like us on Facebook at @keeptxbeautiful.

Texas Department of Transportation
The Texas Department of Transportation is responsible for maintaining 80,000 miles of road and for supporting aviation, rail, and public transportation across the state. Through collaboration and leadership, TxDOT delivers a safe, reliable, and integrated transportation system that enables the movement of people and goods. Find out more at “Like” us on Facebook,; and follow us on Twitter, Don’t mess with Texas is a registered service mark and trademark owned by the Texas Department of Transportation.

Jeff Salzgeber
Sherry Matthews Marketing, for TxDOT
PR Consultant

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