Starting this year, WCLT is increasing its scholarship program from one $500 scholarship to two $1,000 scholarships. As in the past, the WCLT scholarships will be awarded to graduating seniors on the basis of essays submitted in WCLT's annual Earth Day Essay Contest, which runs through April 2 this year. The scholarships will be presented to the winners of the essay contest at Westborough High School graduation.
“The expanded scholarship program is one aspect of our increased community presence in our 15th year,” said John Metzger, WCLT president. The Westborough Community Land Trust was founded in 1997 to preserve and steward open space in Westborough. WCLT has offered a scholarship since 2006.
The scholarship forms and essay contest details are available in the Westborough High School Guidance Office. The deadline for graduating seniors to submit their Earth Day essays to the Guidance Office is Monday, April 2.
Essays should be 500-750 words and should address one of these three topics:
1. An environmental issue in Westborough – Describe an environmental issue that affects a natural resource in Westborough. Propose a solution that would address this issue and/or describe activities in which you have been involved that have worked towards solving this particular problem.
2. Sustainable living in Westborough and beyond – Discuss ways that you and others of your generation could live more sustainably on Earth. If applicable, include a description of changes you have made in your own life that have enabled you or your family to live more sustainably.
3. Protection of Westborough's natural heritage and special places – Describe a place in Westborough that you think is especially important to protect, and explain why. Discuss what you have done or propose ways that you could help to protect Westborough's natural heritage.
“A key goal of the Earth Day Essay Contest is to encourage young people to talk and write about the natural environment and their environmental concerns,” explained Annie Reid of the WCLT scholarship committee. “We know many young people enjoy and care about the environment. They are the next generation of environmentalists.”
The Earth Day essay contest and WCLT scholarships are open to any graduating senior, reflecting the WCLT view that the environment matters to everyone. Seniors do not have to be planning an environmental focus in their studies or career. They also do not need to be planning to attend college.
“We are pleased to offer this increased encouragement and assistance to environmentally minded seniors,” Reid added. “The new scholarships are part of WCLT's commitment to local environmental education. They are a wonderful way to celebrate WCLT's 15th year of activity in the community.”