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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Joey Gouthiere

Joey Gouthiere

Shreveport, Louisiana

Joey Gouthiere, 12, of Shreveport, La., a seventh-grader at Youree Drive Middle School, is on a mission to take care of the planet through “Geaux Green,” an environmental campaign that encompasses gardening, recycling, conservation and community beautification. Even when he was very young, Joey showed concern for the health and appearance of his surroundings. “Whenever I would see litter on the ground, I felt like I needed to make a change and help the Earth,” he said. “It made me feel like I needed to make a difference and encourage people to stop littering, pick up litter and recycle.”

After Joey settled on Geaux Green for the name, he designed a logo and began telling people about his mission through fliers, social media and word of mouth. One of his first steps was to “adopt” a garden at his school. He sought donations of gardening equipment from local businesses and then organized regular work days for volunteers to plant flowers and pull weeds. In addition, he arranged for recycling containers at his school and a nearby park, and started hosting litter cleanup days that have drawn hundreds of volunteers. Joey also spoke in front of community leaders and civic organizations, each time asking audience members to take a pledge to work for a cleaner planet. “There is still work to do,” said Joey, noting that people still litter and fail to recycle. “Hopefully, we’ll eventually get them to step up and realize why they should want to take care of this world.”