2015 Award Winners: Michael Long and Samantha Iliff
On the evening of May 28, Friends presented the Jane Pratt Blue Ridge Mountains Education Award during Jefferson High School’s Senior Night. It was the first presentation of this award in a school in Jefferson County, West Virginia.
The honored recipient was Jefferson senior Michael Long. Michael is a strong student who has been accepted to the Environmental Sciences program at Shepherd University. He and his family promote recycling, organic gardening and creating backyard habitats for wildlife. He volunteers for community and river clean-ups regularly, and participated in Friends recent Stewardship Day at Blue Ridge Regional Park along with his mother Sonya Evanisko. He feels strong that our natural environment, including our the Blue Ridge Mountains, needs to be protected. Michael is also a third degree black belt in martial arts and trains and mentors young people in this ancient art form.
Jed Shilling, the husband of the late Jane Pratt and Friends Board member, presented the award to Christina along with Vice President Marie Uehling.
On the evening of June 4, Friends presented the Jane Pratt Blue Ridge Mountains Education Award during the Loudoun Valley High School Award Night. It was the second presentation of this award to a LVHS student.
The student honored by this award was Samantha Iliff, a highly productive senior about to graduate. She has done excellent work on a number of environmental issues, confirmed by LVHS faculty. She spent time improving the ecosystem on the Chapman Demary trail. Notably, she has won Science Fair awards for her project, “The effects of coliphage T4r+ on decontamination of streams infected with Escherichia coli.” Her senior environmental project included hiking several
days on the Appalachian Trail with her mother, who will do the entire trail, and to assist others on the trail. She has also done volunteer work on the Nature Generation Trail. She will be going to the honors college at the Florida Atlantic University this fall and looks forward to studying issues that will support her strong interest in the environment
Jed Shilling, the husband of the late Jane Pratt and Friends Board member, presented the award to Christina, along with Friends’ President, Carole Napolitano