A year ago this spring Lincoln Wensley's educational video to help save the Kenai Dunes won him first place in the annual Caring for the Kenai environmental awareness and disaster preparedness contest sponsored by Chevron and Tesoro. During the last year his project was nominated for the President's Environmental Youth Award (PEYA) sponsored by the EPA, and the Prudential Spirit of Community award honoring outstanding community service by young Americans. Wensley was selected to receive both awards and earlier this month traveled twice to Washington D.C. to accept the awards. "It's been a heck of ride," Wensley told the Dispatch, "It's really been great, having the chance to go to D.C. twice has been a real eye opening experience. During the Prudential Spirit of Community presentation I had the chance to meet former First Lady Laura Bush and that was inspiring. I feel that volunteerism is on the increase across America with both President Bush and Obama advocating for youth to volunteer in their communities. Meeting the other winners and seeing their projects has really fired me up to continue my community service work in the future," he said.
Wensley said the White House was unable to host the PEYA awards ceremony this year but that he was able to meet the National Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Lisa P. Jackson at their awards ceremony hosted at the EPA building in D.C., "She may not be the President, but she sits on his cabinet and advises the President so it was still a very high honor and an exciting opportunity to meet her and the other winners of the PEYA award from across the country. It was truly amazing," added Lincoln.
Immediately following his return from his second trip to D.C., Lincoln represented Kenai High School at the Hugh O'Brien Youth (HOBY) seminar in Anchorage. HOBY started by the famous TV actor Hugh O'Brien brings high school sophomores from across the state together for leadership training annually, "O'Brien's idea was to start with the youth of America to lead a new wave of leadership and volunteerism. The speakers we heard and the leadership skills and friendships that I made at that conference will be with me the remainder of my life," said Wensley. Lincoln's plan for his next two years of high school are to continue to get straight A's while continuing to serve his community with hard work through programs such as Youth Court and National Honors Society.
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