The nurturing of environmental consciousness within youth is integral to the mission of Keep Austin Beautiful. Through the organization’s Green Teens program, scholars like Jakob Mears are able to become engaged in the promotion of sustainability and emerge as leaders within the community. Over the past year and a half, Jakob has contributed over 55 volunteer hours in service including planting tree saplings along Boggy Creek and Bastrop State Park, tending his school garden, picking up litter at Lady Bird Lake, and removing flood debris at Pease Park. He also encourages his peers to recycle going so far as to show them how to properly sort their trash and recyclables. Jakob’s hard work and passionate participation have made him an integral part of Green Teens at Travis High School and are what have earned him the Keep Austin Beautiful 30th Annual Dell Youth Achievement Award.

“Green Teens has helped me become a better person mentally and physically. I now have a better understanding of the environment around me and how I can help restore it. Green Teens also encourages me to get out more and enables me to become more involved in my community.”

“I love that Green Teens is such a tight knit community and organization. Whenever I’m around the Keep Austin Beautiful community it feels like I’m with family.”

During field trips you can typically find Jakob behind the lens of the camera. His passion for photography has expanded greatly this year into the realm of nature photography. He is a photographer for the Travis High School yearbook and uses his experience to take wonderful outdoor photos that show unique perspectives. This is just another way Jakob contributes his talent to the Keep Austin Beautiful community.

Photo by Jakob on a trip to The Great Outdoors garden store.