President's Environmental Youth Award


President's Environmental Youth Award

Your project - or one you are sponsoring - could be an award winner. Encourage one or more students you know to apply for PEYA and see what a difference they can make for the environment with an award-winning project. Applicants from all 50 states and U.S. territories are eligible to compete for a regional certificate of special recognition and a national presidential award.

Basic Information about the President's Environmental Youth Award

The PEYA program promotes awareness of our nation's natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation's air, water, land, and ecology. It is one of the most important ways EPA and the Administration demonstrate commitment to environmental stewardship efforts created and conducted by our nation's youth.

The PEYA program includes two components: a regional certificate of special recognition and a national award competition. All qualified applicants each year receive a certificate of special recognition from their EPA regional office. In addition, one outstanding project from each region is selected to receive a national award plaque. Projects are developed by young individuals, school classes (K-12), summer camps, and youth organizations to promote environmental stewardship. Thousands of young people from all 50 states and the U.S. territories have submitted projects to EPA for consideration. Winning projects in the past have covered a wide range of subject areas, including:

  • environmental science
  • recycling in schools and communities
  • construction of nature preserves
  • tree planting
  • videos, skits and newsletters that focused on environmental issues

Evaluation results consistently demonstrate that participation in the PEYA program is frequently a life-changing experience for many of the young people and their project sponsors.

How to Apply for the Regional Certificate Program

The regional certificate program is conducted year-round. Applications are accepted at any time.  All qualified applicants will receive a certificate signed by the President honoring them for their efforts to protect human health and the environment.

Eligibility

  • Project is completed while the student(s) are in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Student(s) are citizens of the United States or its territories or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residency.
  • Project is sponsored by at least one adult.

Application

  • Sponsor must sign and date page A-1 of the application.
  • Project must be summarized on the pages provided in the PEYA application form (no more than 300 words).
  • Each application must be mailed to the regional PEYA coordinator.
Download the PEYA Application
Format File Size Instructions/Tips
peyaapp.doc(6 pp, 3 MB) 6 pages, 3.0 MB
  • If you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, select the document, download it to your computer, and type in the information as required.
  • Save the completed form and print a hard copy.
PEYA Application (PDF) 6 pages, 490 KB
  • The interactive PDF application can be viewed using a PC or Macintosh computer. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to open the pdf form.
  • If you want to use the interactive PDF version, select the form and download it to your computer.
  • You may either complete the form online or print a blank copy of the form to complete by hand. If completed online, print a hard copy of the completed form.

How to Apply for the National Award Program

The national award program is conducted once a year. Applications are accepted through December 31 of the award year.  Following the annual December 31 deadline, the awards panel for each of EPA's 10 regional offices reviews applications to select a winner from each region. The 10 national award winners receive a presidential plaque for their outstanding work.

Application Steps

Step 1: Review the Eligibility Criteria

  • Project is completed while the student(s) are in kindergarten through 12th grade.
  • Student(s) are citizens of the United States or its territories or have been lawfully admitted for permanent residency.
  • Project is sponsored by at least one adult.

Step 2: Complete an Application

  • Sponsor must sign and date page A-1 of the application.
  • Project must be summarized on the pages provided in the PEYA application form (no more than 300 words). A more detailed description of the project, addressing the evaluation criteria, should be included separately on 3 to 5 pages of 8½- by 11-inch paper.
  • Typed, double-spaced applications are recommended. The applicant should type or write on only one side of each page.
  • Project must be described based on the evaluation criteria. These criteria will be used by a regional awards panel to evaluate the application.

Step 3: Mail the Application

  • Each application must be mailed to the regional PEYA coordinator. Applications cannot be submitted electronically.
  • A current mailing address for each regional PEYA coordinator is provided on this site, under the Contacts tab.
Download the PEYA Application
Format File Size Instructions/Tips
peyaapp.doc(6 pp, 3 MB)(Microsoft Word) 6 pages, 3.0 MB
  • If you have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, select the document, download it to your computer, and type in the information as required.
  • Save the completed form and print a hard copy.
PEYA Application (PDF) 6 pages, 490 KB
  • The interactive PDF application can be viewed using a PC or Macintosh computer. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to open the pdf form.
  • If you want to use the interactive PDF version, select the form and download it to your computer.
  • You may either complete the form online or print a blank copy of the form to complete by hand. If completed online, print a hard copy of the completed form.

Judging Criteria

Each application under consideration for a regional award is evaluated by a regional awards panel. The panel members are usually EPA staff who review and evaluate each application based on the criteria. A maximum of 100 points can be awarded.

Evaluation criteria for PEYA applications
Evaluation Criteria Points
Extent to which the project was designed, coordinated, and implemented due to the young person's or persons' initiative 25 points
Environmental need for the project and appropriateness 20 points
Positive environmental impact on the local community and society, and the long-term environmental benefits derived from the project 15 points
Were the goals accomplished? 15 points
Positive ways in which other groups or individuals were involved to provide funds, resources, or publicity 10 points
Project innovation 10 points
Soundness of approach, rationale, and scientific design (if applicable) 5 points
Total 100 points

 

Recognition of Winners


Each year, EPA gives a certificate of special recognition to each qualified applicant and a presidential plaque to the 10 national award winners.

Sponsors

Each young person or group of young people applying for the PEYA program must be represented by a sponsor. The adult sponsor plays an important role in helping a young person or group of young people carry out a project and apply for a PEYA.

Typically, a sponsor offers suggestions and advice throughout the project to:

  • develop a sound project approach
  • implement the project
  • work with other groups and individuals in the community
  • complete the application form (The sponsor must also sign and date the application.)
  • prepare accompanying materials

Questions about the role of a sponsor should be directed to your regional PEYA coordinator.


Resources for Sponsors

EPA Regional PEYA Coordinators

EPA has 10 regional offices, each responsible for several states and some of which are responsible for U.S. territories. In each regional office there is a coordinator who manages the PEYA program for that region. The coordinator answers any questions about the program, oversees the review of submitted applications, and works with the sponsors on follow-up activities.

Map of EPA Region 1
EPA Region 1
Region 1 - CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT 
Kristen Conroy
U.S. EPA, Region 1
5 Post Office Square
Mail Code ORA
Boston, MA 02109-3912
(617) 918-1069
conroy.kristen@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 2
EPA Region 2
Region 2 - NJ, NY, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands 
Cecilia Echols
U.S. EPA, Region 2
290 Broadway
26th Floor
New York, NY 10007-1866
(212) 637-3678
echols.cecilia@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 3
EPA Region 3
Region 3 - DE, DC, MD, PA, VA, WV 
Kathleen Kirkland
U.S. EPA, Region 3
1650 Arch (3PA00)
Mail Code 3PA00
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029
(215) 814-3287
kirkland.kathleen@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 4
EPA Region 4
Region 4 - AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN 
Kathy Armstrong
U.S. EPA, Region 4
Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center
61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
Mail Code 9T25
Atlanta, GA 30303-8960
(404) 562-8225
armstrong.kathy@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 5
EPA Region 5
Region 5 - IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI 
Megan Gavin
U.S. EPA
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Mail Code AT-18J
Chicago, IL 60604-3507
(312) 353-5282
gavin.megan@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 6
EPA Region 6
Region 6 - AR, LA, NM, OK, TX 
Bonnie King
U.S. EPA, Region 6
1445 Ross Avenue, Suite 1200
Mail Code 6XA
Dallas, Texas 75202-2733
(214) 665-2215
king.bonita@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 7
EPA Region 7
Region 7 - IA, KS, MO, NE 
Kathleen Fenton
U.S. EPA, Region 7
11201 Renner Boulevard
Mail Code RGADOPA
Lenexa, KS 66219
(913) 551-7402
fenton.kathleen@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 8
EPA Region 8
Region 8 - CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY 
Wendy Dew
U.S. EPA, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Mail Code 80C
Denver, CO 80202-1129
(303) 312-6605
dew.wendy@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 9
EPA Region 9
Region 9 - AZ, CA, HI, NV, American Samoa, Guam, Mariana Islands, Palau 
Adrienne Priselac
U.S. EPA, Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street (CED-4)
Mail Code CED-4
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 947-4252
Priselac.Adrienne@epa.gov
Map of EPA Region 10
EPA Region 10
Region 10 - AK, ID, OR, WA 
Sally Hanft
U.S. EPA, Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue
Mail Code ETPA-202
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 553-1207
(800) 424-4372 (Region 10 only)
hanft.sally@epa.gov