PennDOT, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Seeking High School Students for Young Ambassadors Program

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful are inviting 10th -12th grade students to help keep Pennsylvania clean and beautiful through the Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania program.

The program, now in its third year, builds community stewards and civic leaders by empowering young Pennsylvanians to become ambassadors in their community for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Applicants should be passionate about the environment and committed to restoring and protecting Pennsylvania’s ecological landscape through volunteerism and leadership.

Ambassadors will train and network with industry leaders, state agencies, local media and the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful network to prepare them to be be dfference-makers in their communities by builiding their leadership and problem-solving skills.

“Pennsylvania needs leaders. Like many other crises that require long-term change, we’re looking to the youngest of us to help lead environmental sustainability into the future,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “I’m heartened to see the attention and diligence of the next generation of Pennsylvania’s environmental caretakers”

“It has been enlightening to work with students from diverse backgrounds and cultures through our Young Ambassador program. They each bring their own experiences and aspirations that have helped shape the program. We know the students of today hold the key to a sustainable future and we’re excited to work with and guide this new group of Young Ambassadors to implement change in their communities and the Commonwealth. We’re grateful to continue to partner with PennDOT to provide even more opportuntites for students to develop necessary skills for them to succeed,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Chosen candidates will commit to serve as an Ambassador from September 2024 through May 2025 and represent and uphold the mission and values of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful.

Other responsibilities include:

  • attending 6 mandatory virtual education sessions;
  • conducting a community assessment and creating a summary presentation;
  • organizing and participating in at least one community cleanup event through pick up Pennsylvania and conducting one community education event or activity.

There will also be non-mandatory education sessions from a variety of topics.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will provide education and training to program participants on such topics related to the impact of litter on roadways, litter prevention, waste management and recycling, civic engagement and related public policy, volunteer management, and social media marketing. The program will provide networking opportunities to not only build a sense of community within the program but also to promote professional development of the individual students. In addition, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has partnered with Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania funded by the NiSource Charitable Foundation to provide Job Shadow Days to select Ambassadors.

The Young Ambassadors program was recommended in the commonwealth’s Litter Action Plan announced by the Governor’s Office in November 2021 and is funded by PennDOT.

Applications are being accepted April 1 through June 10. Students will be chosen through a competitive application process. Students interested in applying should visit keeppabeautiful.org and choose Programs, Education then Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania or contact Kylie McCutcheon at 724-836-4121 x114 or kmccutcheon@keeppabeautiful.org.