Congratulations to Regina Velasco and Amy Yang, two Horace Greeley seniors, for winning 2023 Linda J. Zhang Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Award. The scholarship award recognizes their leadership and advocacy for environmental issues and sustainability. The awards were presented at the annual senior award ceremony at Horace Greeley High School on June 12, 2023. 

Regina Velasco has led the Greeley Sustainability Club for the last two years. She was the driving force for creating a school-wide Earth week, has co-facilitated Unity day sessions on environmental justice, and arranged to have club members visit our elementary schools for sustainability themed read-alouds and to teach students about recycling. Regina also set up a series of meetings with district officials to chase down a pervasive rumor that the district was not recycling items that were placed in recycling bins, and with the organization We FutuREcycle to work with Greeley to implement composting in their cafeterias. This spring, Regina was a member of the inaugural class of Plants for a Sustainable World,  and intends to pursue environmental studies at Cornell.

Amy Yang sets incredibly challenging goals for herself and meets them through a combination of creativity, intelligence and ability to find resources. For her science research project, she developed a computer model to analyze particulate matter using webcams at Yosemite national Park and in Beijing, effectively creating an inexpensive way to measure air quality. She has also been a leader in the Beach and Ocean Protection Club for two years, helping to get members excited to learn about our environment, and planning beach cleanups at Edith Reed Sanctuary in Rye.

Linda J. Zhang Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Award is sponsored by Linda J. Zhang Memorial Foundation to honor the life and passion of Linda J. Zhang. The foundation’s mission is to protect the environment and fight the climate crisis by raising awareness, promoting actions. We hope the scholarship will encourage more students to advocate sustainable living, pursuit environmental career and use their talents to tackle the biggest challenge faced by mankind.