Northview Middle Student Wins Environmental Essay Contest

Northview 8th Grader wins Environmental Essay
Posted on 05/02/2019
award kayla

Northview Student wins

2019 Environmental Essay Contest

 

Kayla Ruff, an eighth-grade student at Northview Middle School is one of two students in Catawba County to win the 2019 Environmental Essay Contest: Keep Catawba County Beautiful. The other winner is from Newton-Conover Middle.

The Environmental Essay Contest invited all students in Catawba County between the ages of 14 and 17 to submit a 3-page essay related to this year’s theme, “Redesigning Our Future.” Participants were encouraged to research and explore creative ideas on how society can reshape the future through sustainable practices and/or products; improve and beautify their community environment; and change behavior regarding littering, recycling and proper waste management.

Ruff’s essay addressed several ways to enhance the environment, including increasing local bee populations, reducing paper usage by embracing digital practices, using more effective water conservation practices, and dedicated arts and parks spaces.

Ruff received a $500 scholarship to attend the “Redesigning Our Future” National Environmental Summit at Catawba College scheduled in Salisbury, NC, July 9-13, 2019. The Center for the Environment at Catawba College partners with Rocky Mountain Institute, Environmental Working Group, and Yellowstone Forever to provide an opportunity for young environmental leaders to learn, create, share, interact, grow, connect, and build relationshipsThe scholarship covers lodging and the cost of meals for Summit. 

“This award will give me the opportunity to collaborate with other teenagers about issues regarding our environment,” said Ruff. “This is the turning point of our planet’s health. What we do now will have an impact for future generations and there needs to be young environmental leaders to help make a change. This summit will help me learn, grow, and have fun while making a positive impact on the environment.

When I found out that I was a winner of this essay contest, I was extremely excited. I am looking forward to collaborating with people my age about a passion that we have in common. I believe that with young environmental leaders that aspire to make a difference in the world, we can change our environment in a positive way,” said Ruff.  “I will get to participate in hands-on environmental activities, I will get to experience what life is like on a college campus, and I will get to collaborate with other teenagers about ways to improve our struggling environment.”

As a future career, Ruff plans to become a veterinarian and wildlife conservationist.  “I have loved animals for as long as I can remember, and I am meant to have a career in which I can protect them. I have a strong desire to make a lasting impact on the environment, and by pursuing these careers, I can help restore the health of our planet for future generations,” she said.

Ruff credits all of her teachers for her success, but in particular she thanks Mrs. Lail, Mrs. Kauffman, Mrs. Ross and Mr. Grove for pushing her to reach her full potential. “My eighth grade teachers have inspired me to always try my hardest in everything I do and to always be kind. Mr. Grove is an excellent science teacher and he has helped me with this essay as well as other academic contests and opportunities,” added Ruff.

The daughter of Adina Ruff, a teacher for exceptional children, and Kelly Ruff, a biology teacher, Kayla enjoys playing the bass, piano, ukulele, and guitar. She also actively plays volleyball and softball—and she enjoys spending time with her pets which include a rabbit, two guinea pigs, four cats, and fish.

“I would like to thank “Keeping Catawba County Beautiful” for giving students the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. I am extremely grateful that I am able to attend this environmental summit for free, and I know I will have a great time while being there,” said Ruff.

Keep Catawba County Beautiful is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and responsible behavior regarding littering, recycling, proper solid waste management and beautification through positive individual and community involvement. The local organization is an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

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