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State Honoree

Mary Jennigns

Virginia

Mary Jennings, 18, of Reston, Va., a member of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital in Washington, D.C., and a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., created a campaign to make her community aware of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. When Mary learned that people often dumped hazardous materials in storm drains without realizing the toxic effects on the environment, she developed a presentation about the problem with posters, brochures and a mascot, which was delivered to adults and children at the Reston Fair and Arbor Days. She then tailored her presentation to a younger audience, teaching Girl Scouts about the pollution problem and enlisting their help in labeling storm drains in their neighborhoods with specially designed stickers. Mary trained three other senior scouts to help her deliver a third presentation – incorporating a three-dimensional model of the watershed – to approximately 500 fifth-graders at five elementary schools, and she is now developing a film to leave with the fifth-grade teachers. “I believe these students will not only influence their parents, but will act responsibly themselves when it comes to the environment,” Mary said.