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  • Keep RC Beautiful Staff

2024 Green Scholarship Winners Announced

Updated: May 2

Keep Rutherford County Beautiful (KRCB), a local environmental and beautification nonprofit organization and affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2024 Green Scholarship. This year, the scholarship aims to support graduating seniors who demonstrate exceptional commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Madison McComas, a senior at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, has been awarded the $1,200 Green Scholarship. Madison, a native of Rutherfordton, NC, has shown remarkable dedication to environmental conservation from a young age. Growing up surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Madison developed a deep appreciation for nature and a strong sense of responsibility to protect it.

Driven by her passion for environmental activism, Madison took the initiative to establish her school's Envirothon team and revive its recycling program. Despite facing initial challenges, including the absence of a recycling program due to logistical issues, Madison persevered. With determination and resourcefulness, she successfully implemented a comprehensive recycling initiative, involving her peers in weekly collections and ensuring the proper disposal of recyclable materials.

Madison's commitment to sustainability extends beyond her school community. She actively participates in environmental competitions and engages with professionals in the field to deepen her understanding of ecological issues. With plans to pursue a degree in Environmental Science and Sustainability at William and Mary, Madison is eager to continue her advocacy for environmental conservation and make a meaningful impact in her future endeavors.

"We couldn’t have asked for more vibrant and qualified scholarship-winning candidates this year," said Brock Hefflin, donor and scholarship panel member. "Both Madison and Audrey demonstrate the enthusiasm and leadership needed to help mitigate the scourge of littering that plagues our communities."

Receiving the second-place scholarship of $500 is Audrey Friedman, also a senior at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Audrey's profound connection to nature has been evident throughout her academic journey, as she actively engages in environmental stewardship initiatives both within and outside her school environment.

From participating in cross country races focused on collecting litter to embarking on wilderness expeditions to remove trash from natural habitats, Audrey demonstrates a strong commitment to preserving the environment. Her dedication to marine conservation led her to pursue a degree in Marine Biology and Ecology at the University of Miami, where she hopes to contribute to the protection of marine ecosystems and promote sustainable practices.

"Their passion, leadership, and dedication serve as inspiring examples for our community, and we are excited to see the positive impact they will continue to make in the field of environmental conservation," added Jenna Bailey, Executive Director of KRCB.

Funders: The Green Scholarship was made possible through the generous contributions of the following individuals and organizations:

  • Andrew Tisdale, Senior Financial Advisor at Freedom Financial Management, A financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC

  • Dr. Brock Hefflin

  • Befesa Zinc Metal

Panelists: The scholarship selection panel consisted of esteemed members of our community who generously volunteered their time and expertise:

  • Dr. Janet Mason, Town Manager, Town of Forest City

  • Don Cason, Executive Director, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority

  • Taylor Hardin, Marketing and Project Manager, Rutherford County Tourism Development Authority

  • Dr. Brock Hefflin

The Green Scholarship program, now in its fourth year, aims to support aspiring environmental leaders in their pursuit of higher education and empower them to drive positive change in their communities. Through partnerships with local businesses and organizations, KRCB continues to invest in the future of environmental stewardship and sustainability. If you would like to contribute to the Green Scholarship Fund, please let us know by clicking on the 'Contact Us' link above!

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