County high school students who helped collect nearly 50,000 pounds of recyclable aluminum in the last year recently saw their effort pay off in the form of college tuition.
The $19,000 collected from the recycling drive was awarded to environmental clubs and as scholarships to 11 seniors who plan careers dedicated to improving the environment.
The awards and scholarships were provided by the Susquehannock Environmental Center, a non-profit center in Bel Air that offers environmental education and recycling programs.
The scholarship awards are planned to be an annual event.
The environmental clubs of the county's nine public high schools are to split $5,000 for their programs.
Karen L. Romanelli, a Havre de Grace High School senior, was the top scholarship winner at the center's annual awards banquet May 21 at the Level Fire Hall.
Romanelli received a $3,000 scholarship. She plans to attend the University of Delaware, where she will study marine science.
Valerie J. Phipps, a North Harford High School senior from Jarrettsville, received a $2,000 scholarship. She plans to study engineering.
The winners of $1,000 scholarships are:
Kristie Evans of C. Milton Wright High; Matthew S. Felton of Bel Air High; Lauren Foell of Havre de Grace High; Christopher Kloss of North Harford High; David S. Lutz of Fallston High; Christina D. McDaniels of Harford Technical School; Timothy W. Miller of Joppatowne High; Mohammed R. Mughal of Edgewood High; and Matthew S. Slutzky of Aberdeen High.
Students competing for the scholarships were required to write essays on the importance of individual involvement in the environmental movement.
Winners were selected on the basis of their essays, career plans, academic performance and community activities.