Team of Indian American students awarded!
The President’s Environmental Youth Award (PEYA), which appreciates outstanding environmental local level projects, was granted to an Indian American team of students from New Jersey and one from Arizona, as announced on April 22. The award is accorded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the White House Council.
Each year, the PEYA recognizes such environmental projects that fosters engagement in protection of the environment, encourages awareness of the country’s natural resources and promotes positive community development. They are put together by K-12 youth, students, school classes, summer camp attendees and youth organizations.
This is considered one of the most effective ways the EPA and the federal administration have come up with to protect the nation’s ecology through the efforts created and conducted by its youth. The Bridgewater Raritan High School Green Infrastructure Team in EPA Region 2 came up with an ingenious solution to a storm water runoff issue on the school grounds, which won them the award.
The five-member team comprised of Sujay Edavalapati, Pravar Jain, Amogh Jupalli, Aneesh Nagalkar and Ritika Thomas, who carried out substantial research work and concluded that solution to the flooding problem and pollutants seeping into the nearby river, lied in the creation of a rain garden. They engaged students from elementary, middle and high school in the development phase and also created an outdoor science laboratory for the school district students.
Indian American Nikita Bharati from EPA Region 9 has led two innovative projects reaching more than 2000 Arizona students about environmental sciences and sustainable food systems by using technology to grow healthy foods, harvest and eat them, all in the classroom.
Bharati, a volunteer with the nonprofit Arizona Sustainability Initiative, has successfully piloted her project at Glendale High School and impersonates modernistic techniques of urban agri-tech.