High School Leaders Compete for Funding and Support From Bedford 2020


High school students representing eight Westchester schools will be competing on Saturday, December 15th, in the fourth annual Round One of the Greenlight Award.

The Greenlight Award is a contest that challenges high school students to lead a project to get people to change their behavior in a way that benefits the environment. Students pitch to a local environmental group, Bedford 2020, which selects the best ideas to fund and support. The most impactful team wins a cash prize at a final event in April.

During Round One, students come up with a behavior-change solution to an environmental problem in their community. In the past green ideas have included: an education campaign to discourage car idling, an incentive program for recycling, and a system to facilitate rainwater harvesting.

Round One contestants meet with community stakeholders, professionals and sustainability experts to assess the feasibility of their idea; write a proposal that includes a budget and project timeline; and teams pitch their idea and field questions from judges who are community leaders.

‚ÄúThe Greenlight Award program engages student participants in ways that encourage them to be innovators, project managers, and community leaders,‚ÄĚ says Stuart Marwell, CEO of Curtis Instruments, corporate sponsor of this year‚Äôs Greenlight Award program. ‚ÄúWe are looking forward to hearing their ideas and supporting these future environmental leaders.‚ÄĚ

Up to seven teams advance to the Finals after Round One, and each team receives up to $1,000 in seed funding to carry out their project. The finalists continue to gain real world experience as they a lead a community-based initiative, problem-solve and measure their impact.

‚ÄúIncreasingly in the business¬†and nonprofit world,¬†‚Äėmetrics‚Äô¬†are required to¬†prove¬†success,¬†‚Äúaccording to¬†Olivia Farr, chair of the Greenlight Award Steering Committee,¬†‚ÄúAt the final event in April, students will show data to prove¬†they changed¬†at least 20 people‚Äôs behavior at least 20 times¬†as they compete for the Greenlight Award¬†and a $500 prize.‚ÄĚ

On Saturday, nineteen teams will showcase their proposals at the Round One Expo at Fox Lane Middle School in Bedford from 9:00am until 11:00am. The event is free and open to the public to come visit the displays and ask the contestants questions about their big green ideas from 9am to 11am. Finalists and their funding grants will be announced the week of December 17.


Bedford 2020 is a non-profit organization leading a grassroots effort in the Town of Bedford, NY to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020 and to create a sustainable community that conserves natural resources. The Greenlight Award is a project of Bedford 2020 that engages students countywide in environmental innovation and leadership. More information is available at www.Bedford2020.org.