National Wildlife Federation Announces Young Reporters for the Environment USA Winners

Largest International Environmental Youth Journalism Competition Spanning 29 Countries

05-22-2014 // Christina Batcheler

Arial view of school childrenThe National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the U.S. host of the international Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) program, announces the 2014 middle,  high school and college winners of the Young Reporters for the Environment USA (YRE USA) competition.  The YRE USA competition had a prestigious jury panel of professionals possessing expertise in the fields of environmental conservation, sustainable development, journalism, photography, videography, and education.

The Young Reporters for the Environment USA program is part of a rapidly-growing international network of international youth engaged in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).  It is coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education and currently operates in 29 countries. 

"This is the second year of our YRE competition and we were thrilled by the number and level of students who submitted entries and as well for the support and time provided by our expert jurists.  The students submitted a wide-range of written, photography and video entries that all focused on helping to spread the word about environmental issues that are important in their communities. We hope they will continue to hone their skills as environmental journalists, a role we believe is essential in protecting and restoring the planet," says Kate Hofmann, coordinator, YRE USA.

Students that participate in the program investigate a local environmental problem or issue, and propose solutions.  They document their work and report on it through a journalistic production targeting a local audience.  These journalistic efforts can be through the creation of an article, a photograph, a photographic essay, or a video which is then shared with a local audience through a variety of media.

"This youth environmental journalism program helps to develop participants’ skills and knowledge, enhances communication and citizenship skills, individual initiative, team work, critical analysis, social responsibility, and leadership," said Laura Hickey, senior director of Eco-Schools USA and YRE USA.

Young Reporters for the Environment (YRE) is an international program that engages youth in environmental journalism in 29 countries. In the United States, YRE is hosted by the National Wildlife Federation and is open to students between the ages of 13 and 21; the program is coordinated by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) worldwide. For more information, please go to:

The winning entries from the 2013-2014 NWF YRE USA annual competition are:

Middle School (ages 13-15)

Writing Category:
1st Prize: "Road Salt and the Environment" by Leah Love - Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School, Chicago, IL
2nd Prize: "
Water, Water Everywhere" by Britnay Haddox - Ascension Luthern School, Thousand Oaks, CA

3rd Prize: "Bacterial Pollution in Avalon Harbor" by Thomas Cohen, Ascension Luthern School, Thousand Oaks, CA 

Photo Category:
2nd Prize: "King of North America" by Robin Ensley, Environmental Charter School, Lawndale, CA 

High School (ages 16-18)

Writing Category:
1st Prize: "Sorting out the Trash" by Barry Huang, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Acton, MA
2nd Prize: "
Pink, Pernicious and Polystyrene" by Tan Bui, Haley Grant, Elizabeth Kingsley, Aria Nawab , Isabel Snee and Fabio Vera, Stuart High School, Falls Church, VA

3rd Prize: "A World Debate in Minnesota" by Audrey Dombro Highland Park High School, St. Paul, MN

Photo Category:

1st Prize: "Invasive Species in Lake Barcroft," by Kristine Tran, Adam Starr, Gabriella DiPetto, Pranav Panta, Abdelrahman Ibrahim, Jonathan Nguyen, and Theodore Lebryk, Stuart High School, Falls Church, VA 
2nd Prize: "
Storm Water Management:  the Erosion of Our Land" by Delores Muhammad, Amanda Szwarc, Charles Williams, Curtis Gill, HuyLnh Trem Ho, and Jennifer Enoch, New Hope Academy, Landover Hills, MD

Honorable mention: "Ground Squirrel: Little Animal, Big Problem" by Caroline Braun, Braun Academy, Fort Wayne, Indiana

Video Category:
1st Prize:
 "The History of Hannah Park" by Bethany Bella, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Columbus, OH 
2nd Prize: "
How are we changing our Oceans" by – Samantha Mariscal,  Yesenia Hernandez, Kaylee Martin and Karina Gallegos, Environmental Charter High School, Lawndale, CA  and "The Road through Success" by Jazmin Sanchez and Jose Ortega, Environmental Charter High School, Lawndale, CA. 

College (ages 19-21)

Writing Category:
Honorable Mention: "Food Insecurity and Community Gardening in Greenville County, South Carolina, United States" by Amanda Richey, Furman University, Greenville, South Carolina.

Photo Category:
2nd Prize:
 "Light Pollution" by Emeline Leyens, Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA 

Video Category:
Honorable Mention: "A Cities Shift to a Greener Landscape" by John Figueiredo, Massasoit Community College, Brockton, MA.

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