Boston, MA June 17, 2021—Project Green Schools (PGS) recently held the 14th Annual Green Difference Awards last week in recognition of Outstanding National Environmental Education & STEM Education efforts led in Schools & Communities worldwide. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, honorees from 9 U.S. states and 5 countries participated virtually from across the globe to celebrate their prestigious achievements in green leadership.
“Although this past year presented many challenges for our schools and communities across the globe, the 2021 honorees’ display of remarkable grit and innovation helped make exactly the type of impact needed to create a green future,” said Robin Buchanan, Founder & Executive Director of Project Green Schools. “Thank you to State Representative Jay Barrows, without whom this event would not be possible, as well as our 2021 sponsors, Boon Supply, Koita, National Grid, Scenic America and The Planetary Press. Congratulations to this year’s honorees!”
Kimberly White, Founder & CEO of The Planetary Press, was the Emcee for the awards ceremony, which included categories such as Climate Education and Action; Energy; Food and Agriculture; Green & Healthy Schools; Land, Air, Natural World; STEM & the Future of Sustainability; Outdoor Learning & Exploration; Waste Management; and Water Conservation.
“This is all about inspiring the next generation of environmental leaders, while engaging students at the intersection of STEM, energy, environment, and public health,” remarked Massachusetts State Representative Jay Barrows, who has been on the PGS Advisory Board since 2010. “[This] all comes full circle as sustainable solutions and skills are passed along for future generations. The work you’re all doing is making a difference.”
The 2021 Green Difference Awards Ceremony also included remarks by Chris Castro, Director of Sustainability & Resiliency for the City of Orlando, CEOs of Boon Supply, Lily Kanter and Christina Snyder, Chris Dickerson from Players for Planet, and others. Musical guests and performances at the ceremony included Tem Blessed, positive hip hop artist, as well as Brooke Leifer, singing her original song One Earth.
“I just think that the work that you’re doing right now is the most important field of study,” said Lily Kanter, founder and CEO of Boon Supply. “For the next couple decades, we need a lot of innovation around the environment, especially as it has to do with carbon offsets, and this is a very important field.”
Chris Castro congratulated honorees, proudly noting, “Those efforts in greening your schools [are] a critical part of advancing a sustainable future.”
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to a Dave Riley, retired teacher & Energy Czar of Littleton Public Schools (Littleton, MA), for his dedication to Green Education. The Green Difference Maker Scholarship presented by PGS and National Grid is awarded to high school seniors who demonstrate exceptional leadership in the areas of energy and the environment and are pursuing higher education. Congratulations to the scholarship Top Award winner, Heather Morecock, and runners-up, Ria Thekkethala (MA) and Christina Prew (RI).
Project Green Schools has directly impacted more than 6,500 schools and 500,000 students from 45 U.S. states and 45 countries to facilitate the development of student leaders who have engaged at the intersection of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), energy, environment and public health to develop sustainable solutions, employability, college and career readiness knowledge and skills.