Amy Spens teaches us how to win awards: Get dirty!

On Tuesday, May 17 at the Chamber’s 32nd Annual Awards luncheon Amy Spens will be receiving a Community Award for Environmental Excellence from the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.  The award, which is normally given to an adult, recognizes her work for and commitment to the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust.

Amy and Friends at a Mountain to Sound Event

So how does a high school senior win such an award?  It is probably best to let Amy tell you in her own words. “Most of my outdoor volunteer work has happened with the Mountains to Sound Greenway. When I was little I was one of those kids you can’t keep clean. I’d ruin one pair of jeans in the dirt, then change into a fresh pair and roll into a mud puddle. Needless to say my mom was not pleased (and now I understand why!)”

Amy hiking on Granite Mountain

“Nowadays, I still love playing in the dirt, and volunteering with the Greenway gives me plenty of opportunities to work with my hands, teach others, and yes, get dirty. After almost 3 years I’ve accumulated over 400 volunteer hours, led multiple Summer Camps for kids from 11-18, and spoken in front of the director of the National Forest Service to convince him of the Greenway’s importance as a National Heritage site (the speech was also for the “America’s Great Outdoors Act”.)”

“Additionally, I just found out that I’ve been chosen from almost 800 applicants to receive a Teens in Public Service internship for the summer. Teens in Public Service partners with local non-profits to provide students ages 13 to 19 with minimum-wage summer jobs in a variety of categories: seniors homes, conservation groups, and summer-school tutoring programs; all receive TIPS interns to work 20-30 hours a week, for 6-8 weeks. I’ll be working with the Bellevue Botanical Garden Society on grounds maintenance, plant collection/documentation/mapping, volunteer event coordination, and public event organization. I’m very excited to be working outside in the sunshine all summer!”

And just in case you were wondering, yes, this is the same Amy Spens who is a National Merit Finalist this year.

Guess getting dirty pays off.

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