For the second time in two consecutive years, the Sleepy Eye Youth Energy Summit (YES!) team has been recognized for their outstanding efforts and community wide impact to lesson Sleepy Eye’s carbon footprint.
Recently members and advisors of the Sleepy Eye YES! Team were awarded a second place $750 award from the Southwest Initiative Foundation, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and AgStar. The team also earned a $250 “Big Bang” high impact community project award.
Both awards were presented by Aleta Kolan of the Southwest initiative Foundation on behalf of the Youth Energy Summit Program.
“The judges appreciated that you focused on your community with high achieving projects,” Aleta said. “The judges were also impressed that this group is made up of students from two different schools who find time to work together.”
Kolan went on to say the high achieving projects included hosting a booth at Party in the Park to educate the community on different energy conservation topics,and the holiday lights collection, in which the Sleepy Eye YES! Team has collected the most lights in the state for the second year in a row. This year the team collected over 660 pounds of holiday lights. In addition, the team coordinated a jean insulation project in which enough pairs of jeans were collected to insulate almost an entire house.
“You guys did a wonderful job this year and we are really excited to see what you do in the future,” Kolan concluded.
Advisors Deb Reinarts and Mary Beth Boetz expressed their appreciation to the YES! team members for their hard work throughout the year.
“We have a young group and I can’t wait to see the potential of this group in the next couple of years,” said Reinarts.
Boetz echoed the sentiment saying that because of the hard work of the students, the YES! team is a familiar name in the community.
YES! team member Kaylee Hillmer said that the community support has also helped the YES! Team accomplish major projects.
Last year the team was awarded $2,000 that they used for school hydration systems and recycling bins. Since the monies are so recent, Reinarts said the team has not had a chance to discuss specifically how they plan to use the award money. However, Reinarts said, the thought is to continue with energy conservation.
Boetz added the hope is also to continue with projects they have started such as educating the community on the proper disposal of CFL lights that were installed last year as well as continuing efforts on recycling.
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“We feel proud that if we have made enough of a community impact to be recognized with award money to continue to support what we are doing than we are on the right track,” Reinarts said.
For more information on the Youth Energy Summit program visit the website at www.youthenergysummit.org.