New York City Students Selected for Inaugural Wangari Maathai Environmental Award

Dr. Wangari Maathai

The Rockefeller Foundation is happy to announce the winners for the inaugural Wangari Maathai Award for Civic Participation in Sustainability— Cecil Brooks, Jr., a student at South Bronx Preparatory School Academy, and Awa Sow, a student at Manhattan Comprehensive Night and Day High School. These two students were selected based on their proven commitment to environmental stewardship in an urban setting.

Brooks, through his participation in the Youth Leadership Council for the Harlem Educational Activities Fund, conducted a year-long project in Harlem focused on a recycling campaign and the adoption of community trees. Sow began a Green Club to coordinate her school’s sustainability efforts, as part of her work with the Student Climate and Conservation Congress in Washington, D.C., resulting in reduced energy consumption, tree-planting, and her school’s participation in cleaning the Bronx River and Bronx Park. 

The award was established in honor of Dr. Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, a visionary environmentalist, and founder of the Green Belt Movement – a tree-planting campaign to promote sustainable development, woman's empowerment, and democracy in Kenya. The Rockefeller Foundation – along with the Bette Midler Family Trust and MillionTreesNYC – are proud to honor Dr. Maathai’s legacy with this annual $10,000 cash scholarship for New York City public high school seniors with a passion for social and ecological resilience and equity.

The awards will be handed out at the Municipal Art Society's Annual Meeting February 26, 2013.

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Edwin Torres

Edwin Torres is a former associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation.

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