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President's Environmental Youth Award Winners Announced -- Lubbock Youth Wins National Recognition

Release Date: 4/18/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     Amit Bushan, a sixth-grade student in Lubbock, Texas, will be recognized as a winner of the 2001 President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) at the White House on Thursday, April 18, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke announced today.

     After suffering an asthma attack at a bowling alley that allowed smoking, Amit started a campaign to ban smoking in restaurants in Lubbock.  He did extensive research, involved the local medical community and presented his case, using his own Power Point slide presentation, to anyone and everyone who would listen -- the mayor, the city council, civic organizations, even all levels of the school district.

     He involved the media, health officials and other schools by starting a letter writing campaign. As a result of his efforts, the city passed an ordinance to ban smoking in several public places.  His effort educated hundreds of students and thousands of people on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke, particularly on children's health.

     "Amit is an excellent example of how each of us can make a difference.  His commitment, enthusiasm and resourcefulness make me proud of today's young people," Cooke said.

     Amit was sponsored by Dr. Donna Bacchi, who has a particular interest in indoor air quality and its effect on children.

     Three other student projects selected as runners-up will be recognized during EPA Region 6's "Earth Day 2002" activities in Dallas on April 25.

     First runner-up was Stefanie K. Lacy of Bandera, Texas, a high school student who started a recyling program in her community.

     Second runner-up was Phillip Costello of Wesley, Arkansas, a sixth-grader who used Project WILD curriculum to teach other children about the environment.  

     Third runner-up was Brittany Ferguson and Mindy Busch of Sugar Land, Texas, two high school juniors who started a recycling program at their local newspapers.

     EPA created PEYA in 1971 to encourage children in grades K-12 to become more active in protecting the environment. Annual competitions in each of EPA's 10 regions select winners for national recognition at the Washington, D.C. ceremony.

     For more information on the winning projects, projects from other EPA Regions, past winners, or how to compete for this prestigious award, call the Region 6 PEYA Coordinator, Ms. Patty Senna, at 800-887-6063. Information is also available on the Internet at .