Alexandria High School Graduate Receives Scholarship for Environmental Leadership

Christina Pelliccio realized her passion for the environment after she saw litter in and along the Potomac River

Christina Pelliccio is taking action and raising awareness on environmental issues. (Photo: Courtesy of NSHSS)

Alexandria, VA – West Potomac High School graduate Christina Pelliccio’s passion for the environment has been rewarded. She is the recipient of the Earth Day Scholarship, given by the National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS).

The organization is premier international honors and scholarship program, co-founded by Claus Nobel and James Lewis.

“I was so excited and honored when I found out about it. It really validates the hard work I’ve done and it’s a big help towards college. I’m just so happy,” said Pelliccio.

She leaves West Potomac with a lasting legacy, where she worked with her principal to install recycling bins in the school cafeteria. Pelliccio also worked to obtain grants to install water filling stations.

She will attend UC Berkeley this fall and plans to continue her work by studying Environmental Science.

The Beginning of a Passion

Pelliccio realized her passion for the environment after she saw litter in and along the Potomac River. Taking action, she organized a number of river cleanup events.

“I’ve always had an interest in the environment and as I got older I really started to notice the problems around me firsthand. It inspired me to do something and tackle the problems. I’ve turned my interest into something I’ll dedicate my life to changing,” she told The Zebra.

Her enthusiasm for making a difference didn’t stop with cleanup events. Wanting to do more, she contacted her district supervisor, Dan Stork, to discuss installing recycling bins along the river. In turn, she was invited to be a board member on the Mount Vernon Environmental Advisory Committee.

Even as COVID-19 limits outdoor projects, the committee is planning a 2020 Environmental Virtual Expo.

“I’m hoping as we recover from Covid that we can take into account the environment and remember how important it is and that a Covid recovery can also lead to a green recovery” Pelliccio said.

The Work Continues

Looking for ways to help the environment, she joined ThinkOcean and became the creative director. The nonprofit raises awareness and looks to influence change regarding environmental sustainability. Not letting the pandemic stop her, Pelliccio finds ways to spread the message,

“During quarantine I’ve focused on creating social media blogs and posts focusing on virtual initiatives. Making videos on Instagram that can educate and inspire people,” she said.

The duties might be might be more than enough for most people. However, Pelliccio finds time to be a hub coordinator for the Sunrise Movement, where she leads her community in making the environment a bigger priority. This is accomplished through initiatives such as lobbying for a climate debate and the Green New Deal.

The Future

Pelliccio’s focus will continue to focus on taking action to help save the environment.

“I’d love to get a job in the environmental field, working for a non-profit or being a policymaker,” she admitted

When it comes to spreading the message on what anyone can do to help she keeps it simple,

“It’s the little things that help lead to big things, Pelliiccio said. “Recycle. Pick up litter. Be mindful. It’s a collective effort.”

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