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TxDOT's $10,000 Scholarship Set to Accept Applications

Tue March 05, 2024 - West Edition #5

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Texas students who helped clean up and beautify their communities can now apply for a scholarship contest awarding a total of $10,000.

The annual Don't mess with Texas Scholarship Contest is now accepting applications for the 2024 school year. All Texas high school seniors currently attending public, private or home school — and planning to attend an accredited college, university or trade school in the fall 2024 semester — are eligible to apply. Judges will select two winners based on applicants' proven results in leading projects or efforts focused on educating communities about the importance of keeping our state and roadways clean and litter-free.

Sponsored by Ozarka and iHeartMedia, the contest recognizes the creativity of high school seniors who are taking a leadership role in preventing litter in their communities.

"It's important that future generations feel empowered to create long-term, sustainable solutions to make their communities litter-free," said Norma Rios, program coordinator of TxDOT's Don't mess with Texas campaign. "Our state is counting on these leaders to keep Texas litter-free for decades to come."

Past winners include 2023 winner Hayden with Pioneer Technology & Arts Academy in Greenville. Hayden developed the Trashy Tuesday campaign. At least twice a month students would gather after school on a Tuesday and clean litter around their campus. The project expanded to cleaning community parks as well.

Neddah with Brownsville Early College High School in Brownsville was another 2023 scholarship recipient. Neddah was a leader of the Environmental Club at her school.

The group conducted a litter survey and then developed and implemented a litter management plan at her campus. They also created an on-campus recycling program and created a competition among the classrooms to see who can recycle the most.

Don't mess with Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The program includes annual "Trash-Off" community outreach events and the Adopt-a-Highway volunteer program.

To apply for the Don't mess with Texas Scholarship Contest, visit

Applications must be received via online submission by 5 p.m. (CDT) on April 2, 2024.

For media inquiries, contact TxDOT media relations at [email protected] or 512/463-8700.

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