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Greenlight Award Winners 2023

Thirteen high school teams from eight Westchester high schools & youth groups came together on April 29th to present their environmentally-focused projects. The Katonah Village Library conference rooms buzzed as students, friends, family, school advisors and business and climate experts gathered to award this year’s winner of the 8th Annual Greenlight Awards™. Under the guidance of Program Manager, Louise Alverson, teams worked over the course of six months to develop educational tools, prototypes, made use of social media and tapped into their school networks to encourage positive action on climate change.

Projects focusing on waste reduction, encouraging more sustainable food practices, water conservation, healthier lawns, and improved energy efficiency.  10 Judges from a variety of corporate, entrepreneurial and philanthropic backgrounds were invited by Bedford 2030. They listened to team presentations, engaged in follow-up questions and evaluated projects based on a 7-part scoring system.  They were tasked with the difficult job of identifying teams with the most impact or potential for impact to reduce our carbon footprint – in line with Bedford 2030’s ambitious emission reduction goals. Here are this year’s winners:

First Place

First place, with a cash prize of $500 was awarded to “Eco-Friendly Food” by Ian Cavalluzzi of YPIE.  He successfully demonstrated his home hydroponics invention – a very low-cost, simple and efficient tool to grow produce at home. The impact being two-fold: lowering transportation emissions for fresh produce, while offering families a simple method to enjoy healthier home-grown vegetables at minimal cost.

"The power of self-efficacy in young people - the ability to believe in oneself and one's ability to succeed - is alive and well through the Greenlight Awards, and it's contagious!"

Second Place- Tie

Joint second-place was awarded to “GreenIrv” from Westchester Youth Congress, and students of Irvington High School, Ben Kasoff, Jake Epple and Emmaline LeBuhn. They focused on reducing food waste, increasing composting at school, and extended their goal to reach the wider Irvington community to increase composting; by teaming up with a local initiative, they introduced a trackable method to measure and promote community composting. 

Also joint second-place winners were “Meatless Mondays” from John Jay High School’s  Austin Omin and Luke Pinney who have been engaging with their school community, administrators and cafeteria services to pursue an ongoing plan to bring attention to the impact of consuming meat and with a goal to lower the carbon footprint of food choices at school.  They are making strides to offer nutritionally balanced meatless meals on the school menu, and then bring this to more schools across the area for a sustainable and wide-spread impact.

“It was an honor for us to participate as judges in this event and witness the next generation of environmental leaders in action. We were impressed by the passion and creativity displayed by these students in their green initiatives, and we are proud to continue supporting Bedford 2030.”

Third Place

Third place went to Peekskill High School students Anthony Rios and Diego Sari for the project “Peekskill Zero Waste” where they have been addressing waste reduction, more effective recycling, and finding ways to arm students with the knowledge of what happens to their waste when not correctly disposed of.  The students brought attention to the Peekskill incinerator facility and its direct impact on the health of their immediate community.

Erika Pierce, District Legislator recognized the work of the teams and presented them with County certificates of merit. 

Honorable mentions:

Blue Thumb – Excellent use of resources to engage community


Alba Martinez, Roselyn Carreno, Esther Ramirez, Kimberly Contreras, Brandiel Dias, Valentina Cabrera, Samantha Sanchez , Marcia Coronell, Bruce Perez

Earth Rise Sustainability Club – Outstanding school and community outreach

JOHN JAY HIGH SCHOOL – Katherine Martin, Ariel Barniv, Senna Levy, Maren Kreutzer

Eco-Bin – Most efficient use of leadership resources

HORACE GREELEY HIGH SCHOOL – Amy Feng, Roshan Dhand, Sara Jankovic

ecoIllumination – Best teamwork to inspire actionable change

RYE COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL – David Colin, Aidan McIntosh, Rhodes Boester, Apolline Weinstein

Food For Thought – Highest potential for expansion and longevity

YONKERS PARTNERS IN EDUCATION (YPIE) – Annabelle Bradley, Katalina Bingham (Yonkers Montessori Academy)

Increasing Carbon Literacy Inside the Home – Boldest greenhouse gas reduction idea

CROTON 100 –  Lexi Schaffer (Hendrick Hudson HS), Maia Opazo (Croton HS)

MyLawn – Excellent use of research, pivoting and perseverance


Plastic Free Cafeteria – Most persistent problem solving

HORACE GREELEY HIGH SCHOOL – Nora Morton, Natalie Carousso, Harper Margolies

Project Food Sustainability – Outstanding creativity and use of digital media to extend educational reach
Check out their Full Documentary HERE

HORACE GREELEY HIGH SCHOOL – Andrew Pang, Elizabeth Xiu, Daniel Ye

“This program reflects the belief in our youth to be action-oriented environmental influencers.  Bedford 2030 is delighted to offer a platform that empowers students to make real change. The program is designed to give power to their voices and actions, provide funding where needed, and help them realize the extent of their capabilities, building both skills and a confidence that they can carry forward with them."

Bedford 2030 is grateful to sponsors Hickory & Tweed and Curtis Instruments for their ongoing support.

This annual competition is open to all high school age students across Westchester and kicks off in October each year. To learn more about the Greenlight Award™, visit bedford2030.org/greenlight/ or email greenlightaward@bedford2030.org