The Stonington Garden Club awarded two $1,000 scholarships recently to Joanna Chomowicz and Trevor Hultgren, two Stonington High School graduates who will be pursuing studies in environmental sciences in college. Chomowicz was presented the Environmental Studies Award, while Hultgren was presented the Environmental Awareness Award.

Chomowicz understood at a young age that "our polluted planet impacts the way people live when she witnessed families in Peru creating homes from trash," a note from the club stated.

"She realized people around the world and at home need assistance, and it starts with education and experiences. She helps her neighborhood garden club keep things clean and green and also takes advantage of our area’s natural resources such as ocean swimming and forest hiking. She appreciates the beauty of nature and knows it takes work to keep it that way. She intends to become a teacher to help the next generations understand the need for sustainable living to help preserve the Earth for us all. She will attend Lesley University in the fall."

As a young boy, Hultgren learned about the magic of growing plants for pollinators, food, and enjoyment. He had the opportunity to learn from his grandfather the joys of digging in the dirt and the patience needed to nurture flora and fauna all around us. Hultgren dovetails his passion for the environment with his engineering mind and plans to help preserve towns and waters by pursuing studies in environmental engineering and/or sustainable business at The University of Vermont.

“We are so grateful to Elisa Whitman at Stonington High School, who is now teaching four environmental sciences courses, for her continued encouragement of her students,” said Michelle Kutz, chair of the club's Scholarship Committee. “We are thrilled to support the youth in our community determined to pursue these studies,” she added.

“An important component of the mission of Stonington Garden Club is to educate and encourage interest in the environment and conservation. This is why we offer these awards to recognize and support our youth interested in the environmental sciences,” said Deb Dodds, garden club president.

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