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Stoneham Student Honored with $2,500 Next-Gen Environmental Leader Scholarship

Sean Riley of Stoneham MA

Keep Massachusetts Beautiful (KMB) has awarded its first-ever Next-Gen Environmental Leader Scholarship to Sean Riley, 18, of Stoneham.

KMB launched its new annual $2,500 Next-Gen Environmental Leader Scholarship in the spring of 2022. This scholarship supports a Massachusetts high school senior student who will be pursuing a degree or certificate in environmental studies or a related field at an accredited institution of higher learning.

“We recognize that in order to protect our environment in the future, a new generation of young people will need to lead the way,” said Neil Rhein, executive director of Keep Massachusetts Beautiful. “This scholarship supports students who have demonstrated a commitment to environmental protection, environmental justice, or community service and to improving the environmental health or sustainability of their local community or Massachusetts.”

Sean Riley helped found a Green Club at Stoneham High School during his senior year. The Green Club had 34 enthusiastic members who created posters to educate students about climate change, food waste, and recycling. They also hosted litter cleanups around the school in the fall of 2021 and spring of 2022. Riley also partnered with Keep Stoneham Beautiful (KSB), an initiative of the Stoneham Community Development Corporation, on their April 23 Stoneham Town Cleanup and Earth Day celebration. 

“Engaging our youth in projects to clean up and green up our town and expanding environmental education in our community is a key focus of Keep Stoneham Beautiful,” said Jenny Lecoq, president of the Stoneham Community Development Corporation and KSB chapter leader. “We are thrilled that Sean is the recipient of this award and very grateful to KMB for making this opportunity available.” 

“I appreciate Keep Massachusetts Beautiful’s financial support for my education,” said Riley. “This scholarship will allow me to pursue environmental engineering at the University of Vermont and enable me to continue sparking environmental change in New England and beyond.”