Mackenzie Hines may only be a junior in high school, but she’s already focused on educating the next generation. She was one of just 33 students in Pennsylvania chosen as a “Young Ambassador” by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful whose goal is to “build community stewards and civic leaders by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to keep their communities beautiful and become ambassadors for a shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania.”
Hines, who has also worked as an After Care and Enrichment assistant, says she plans to “keep the state beautiful” by “educating young people about the importance of keeping the environment clean and giving them the tools to spread their sustainability knowledge to new generations.”
Having researched food waste reduction in her Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Capstone project alongside partner Aurie Brown, Hines is now working, through her Venture Accelerator, with Lower and Middle School students to reinstitute the school’s composting program in the Lower School cafeteria. She plans to educate the youngest SCHers about the benefits of environmentally friendly practices and will be able to focus on refining this project through the program.
For the next seven months, through May 2024, Hines will meet virtually with her “Young Ambassadors” cohort to develop civic leadership skills and advocate for the environment statewide. She hopes that she can collaborate closely with her cohort to not only understand and discuss more deeply the pressing issues related to the environment but also help inspire others with new ideas “both in and out of school about the things we can do to help our planet.”