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Keep PA Beautiful: Matthew Casturo Winds $1,000 Sue Wiseman Scholarship

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful would like to congratulate Matthew Casturo, age 18, from Elizabeth Forward High School in Allegheny County, who was chosen as the 2013 Sue Wiseman Scholarship recipient.

Matthew initiated the project of revitalizing the school’s forgotten courtyard into a garden facility for special education students as well as an outdoor classroom for the entire student body. Matthew designed the space, conferring with landscapers, tree companies, environmentalists, local businesses, school faculty and the student body and directed fundraising efforts to help cover the costs associated with the renaissance of the basketball court sized area.

The transformation involved removing 35 tons of mill slag, rebuilding a well from 1969, and the removal of 500 square feet of grass and a few diseased trees. New compost, soil, peat humus, and rubber mulch was spread, several benches and raised garden beds were installed, built by the school’s workshop classes, and plants and trees were planted.

“One of the goals of my project is to change the experience of every student who enters Elizabeth Forward High School in some way,” states Matthew, who reported that twenty percent of the student body was involved with the project in some way. Matthew will be attending The Ohio State University where he will major in Environmental Engineering.

Applicants were judged on initiative and self-motivation, ability to demonstrate leadership, commitment to the environment, use of local resources, partnerships formed, and the project’s ability to educate the public.

The scholarship is named for Sue Wiseman, whose own commitment and dedication to a cleaner environment led to the founding of PA CleanWays in 1990, which is now Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is empowering Pennsylvanians to make their communities clean and beautiful.

Applications For Next Year

The Sue Wiseman Scholarship is open to Pennsylvania high school seniors who have initiated and carried out a personal project that addresses one of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful’s focus areas of Prevent It, Clean It, or Keep It.   The next round of applications is due May 1, 2014.

Application forms are available electronically on KPB’s Sue Wiseman Scholarship webpage or by calling the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful office at 877-772-3673.

Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its volunteers have removed over 97 million pounds of litter from Pennsylvania’s roadways, greenways, parks, forests, and waterways.  For more information on how to cleanup and prevent litter and rural dumping, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website.


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