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Distinguished Finalist

Emily Nitz

Olathe, Kansas

Emily Nitz, 14, of Olathe, Kansas, a freshman at Olathe South High School, held a workshop at her local middle school to show students how to make sleeping mats out of recycled plastic bags; this project benefitted people experiencing homelessness while reducing the amount of plastic that could potentially pollute the ocean and harm wildlife. Emily also travelled to Costa Rica and Panama to help the sea turtle population by loosening sand around nests and patrolling for hatching or beached turtles.