spacerspacerIllinois Department of Natural Resources

July 16, 2010


Students recognized for environmental activism, natural resources protection

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF) today announced the winners of the 2010 ICF Youth Achievement Scholarships, an outreach program recognizing high school juniors and seniors in Illinois for their work and dedication to preserving, promoting, enhancing or supporting natural resources conservation. 

Each of the four students selected for the awards received a $1,000 scholarship.  The scholarship program is supported through funds raised at the annual Illinois Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet.

“These young conservation leaders represent the best of the best among young people committed to environmental protection and making their communities better places to live,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller, who serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.

“Because of the efforts of these student leaders, other youth and members of their communities now see the value of protecting our natural resources now and for future generations,” said Mark Spangler, executive director of the Illinois Conservation Foundation.    

This year’s scholarship winners are:

  1. Katheryn E. Billing of Batavia, a 2010 graduate of Batavia High School in Batavia.  Katie served as a junior naturalist and leader of Batavia High’s Eco Club.  She has participated in river monitoring, worked on the Batavia Environmental Commission Project and managed a community organic garden.  She also served on the Youth Volunteer Corps at Brookfield Zoo, focusing on efforts to combat global warming.  Katheryn Billing plans to attend Waubonsee Community College.

  2. Alexandria Clark of Rock Island, a 2010 graduate of Rock Island High School in Rock Island.  Allie served as president of the high school’s environmental club and planned and implemented activities for a youth environmentalist club for local elementary school students in grades 3-6.  She has served as a board member of Keep Rock Island Beautiful and participated in community environmental efforts including the X-Stream Clean Up and One Million Trees Project.  She also served as president of the high school science club and on the youth advisory board for River Action.  Alexandria Clark plans to attend Creighton University.

  3. Michael Frank of River Forest, a 2010 graduate of Oak Park and River Forest High School in Oak Park.  As his Eagle Scout project, Michael developed a plan and budget for installation of rain barrels at his high school and became an advocate for rain barrels throughout the community.  He received an Award of Environmental Stewardship in Water Conservation from the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and a 2009 Governor’s Green Youth Award.  He later organized an effort to install a 500-gallon rain tank at the school’s football field this summer.  He was also a member of the environmental/biology club at the high school.  Michael Frank plans to attend Purdue University.      

  4. Tea Sefer of Chicago, a 2010 graduate of Lincoln Park High School in Chicago.  Tea served as president of the school’s Environmental Action Committee, a student-led initiative focusing on environmental protection projects.  As an example of the group’s activities, they took water quality samples and were involved in beach protection efforts at Chicago’s Foster Avenue Beach and managed the school’s Earth Day activities.  Tea Sefer intends to major in International Studies at American University in Washington, DC.

The Illinois Conservation Foundation, an IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, supports programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

For more information on the ICF Youth Achievement Scholarship Program, contact the Illinois Conservation Foundation, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, phone 217/785-2003, or visit the ICF web site at