Keep Texas Beautiful and the Texas Department of Transportation’s (TxDOT) Don’t Mess with Texas program invite high school students statewide to share their achievements as leaders in litter prevention and environmental responsibility.To inspire more awareness among young Texans and recognize those already leading the effort toward positive litter habits, the organizations have partnered to announce the 12th annual Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship contest.

With hundreds of applicants last year, the Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship contest has doubled the amount of funds that will be awarded to $10,000 in total scholarships for 2015. One $6,000 grand prize scholarship and two $2,000 scholarships will be awarded this spring to students planning to pursue a two- or four-year degree at an accredited university or college in Texas.

The Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship contest recognizes the accomplishments of high school seniors who have taken leadership roles to prevent litter in their schools and/or communities. The contest, sponsored by real estate and oil and gas company Forestar, is open to high school seniors currently attending public, private or home school in Texas and planning to attend an accredited Texas university or college next year.

“We’re proud to support the efforts of Texas high school seniors who have made a difference in their communities to prevent litter,” said Bruce Dickson, Forestar’s Chief Real Estate Officer. “Giving back through the Don’t mess with Texas Scholarship program helps make the higher education dreams of our state’s most creative and dedicated young people a reality.”

Applications are now being accepted for the scholarship. Applications must be received by online submission or postmarked by April 4, 2015, Midnight (CST). Both digital and mailed applications will be accepted. “Because Texans 16 to 34 are the most likely to litter, we want to celebrate those young Texans who are taking the lead to keep our state litter-free and beautiful,” said Cathie Gail, Executive Director, Keep Texas Beautiful. “It’s exciting to see these talented young people harnessing their creativity, dedication and technological savvy to engage their communities in such a positive way.”

Last year’s winning entries included litter prevention and environmental awareness projects that built interactive public signage in conjunction with educational websites, produced multimedia public service announcements, organized public trash collections, and hosted a Recycling Fashion Show. Applications and more information on last year’s winners can be found at