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Distinguished Finalist

Esperanza Garcia

Denver, Colorado

Esperanza Garcia, 17, of Denver, Colo., a senior at South High School, helps fellow students learn to grow, harvest and enjoy fresh food through the Environmental Justice Warriors collective, which also provides food for the school’s food bank. With no prior gardening experience, but with the help of a grant and the advice of her biology teacher, she and the collective bought soil, solicited seeds and cuttings, and planted and reaped in her school’s greenhouse, which has become a sanctuary for stressed students.