Students of the Year
The Student of the Year is recognized annually at the Keep Georgia Beautiful Awards Luncheon for their work and volunteer efforts in a community.
Tarab Ajjan, 2016 Student of the Year
Tarab Ajjan - While attending Stratford Academy in Macon, Tarab began volunteering with Keep Macon-Bibb Beautiful Commission during her junior year. Assisting with clerical and technological needs at KMBBC, Tarab contributed towards school environmental outreach, County Commission meetings, and aided KMBBC in developing infographics to help elected officials understand the program’s impact. She utilized her skills to embrace the total mission of litter prevention, recycling, and beautification. In addition to office support, Tarab is also deeply committed to educational opportunities for underserved youth. Seeing a need for weekend tutoring, she worked with her school to use their facilities, developing a science enrichment workshop for 24 children.
Felix Linzan, 2015 Student of the Year
Felix Linzan - Felix has been volunteering with Keep Liberty Beautiful since he was a sophomore in high school, where he became deeply involved in KLB litter cleanup efforts. He soon became the KLB liaison for Bradwell Beta Club and other school organizations, and became a KLB regular, volunteering at cleanups, recycling projects, Earth Day events, and promoting the community garden for KLB’s 30th anniversary. Two years ago, Felix took over management of the organization’s website and social media accounts, and he has bravely served as the KLB mascots! Even though he is now attending the University of Georgia, Felix remains an active volunteer with KLB. In addition to serving as a site leader for events, he has used his design talents to lay out gardens and create displays for community awareness activities. Felix averages contributing 150-175 volunteer hours each year, and Keep Liberty Beautiful states that they are lucky to have him as a member of their family!
Kelly Childers, 2014 Student of the Year
Kelly Childers - Since the time she was a pre-schooler Kelly Childers has been working hard to make her community a better place. Beginning in fifth grade she got involved in 4H activities. This interest in environmental issues and a love of reading grew into a county wide program started by Ms. Childers “Recycle to Read Because You CAN”. Starting with just her family’s aluminum cans Kelly began turning the cans in for recycling and using the proceeds to purchase much needed books for the Wilcox County School System Libraries. The 4H program helped her to secure a trailer for collection and to spread the program throughout the county. Her efforts have impressive results. She has collected almost $1000 and purchased 77 books for the local library.
Daniela Cardona, 2013 Student of the Year
Daniela Cardona - a Georgia Tech Architecture major from Atlanta, is deeply committed to making her city more sustainable. So last spring she followed her Professor’s advice and contacted the City of Atlanta offering an internship idea. The City jumped at the chance to work with such a talented student and she began her work as a Zero Waste Associate in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. Her primary responsibility was to audit City departments known to occupy facilities without recycling services. Organizing this information empowered City leadership to realign resources and upgrade waste services. More than that, she was charged with rolling out the new policy mandating that desk side trash bins be replaced with mixed recycling bins and centralized trash containers.
Andy Gomez, 2012 Student of the Year
Andy Gomez (Home School) Andy became involved with Keep Chatsworth-Murray Beautiful when his mother began recycling at KCMB’s facility. Andy soon learned how to sort recyclables and started volunteering to help out at the recycling facility. In 2009, he started volunteering every Saturday and in 2010 joined KCMB’s youth volunteer organization The Downtown Clean Team. In 2011, Andy stepped up and volunteered to become co-chair of the DCT. He is deeply concerned about the future of our environment and works diligently to make a difference in his community.
Andrew Day, 2010 & 2011 Student of the Year
Andrew Day (Veritas Classical School in Peach County) began his work in Storm Water Pollution with a tagging initiative in 2008. Andrew translated that effort into a larger environmental education campaign. He has taken his message about the importance of preventing storm drain pollution to several regional, state and national conferences. Andrew then founded and organized the CLEAN club members (which stands for Choosing to Lead Environmental Action Now) to participate as volunteers to help with Rivers Alive clean ups, National Public Lands Day, Great American Clean Ups, and America Recycles Day. He is also a one student media campaign doing media interviews with local television stations and writing articles in the Houston Home Journal, Fort Valley Leader Tribune, and the Pulaski County Times, educating the general public about Storm Drain Dumping, have reached over 50,000 readers.
Mary Lathem, Student of the Year 2009
Mary Lathem (Eastside High School, Covington) where she is a straight A student in the Gifted program. In 2005 Mary was a “River of Words” winner for her poem “River Walking”, she was a 2006 founding member the Clean Team (students who volunteer and clean up at ball parks), and in 2008 she was recognized as 4-H State Winner, Leadership in Action, as well as given the Presidential Volunteer Award for her water project. Mary serves on the Keep Covington Newton Beautiful board giving time to clean up projects and recycling initiatives. Mary also excels as a singer. She has been selected for All State Chorus for 2 years with a perfect audition score and performed in over 30 musicals with local theaters.