Don't Mess With Texas awards $5,000 scholarship to Presidio student
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Don't Mess With Texas awards $5,000 scholarship to Presidio student

TxDOT has selected Ramon Rodriguez, a senior at Presidio High School in Presidio, Texas, as a winner in the 2023 Don’t Mess With Texas Scholarship Contest. Ramon will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, which he will apply toward his chosen field of study, biology, at Texas Tech University.    

The Don’t Mess With Texas Scholarship Contest is presented annually in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful and recognizes students who are taking an active role in litter prevention at their school or in their community. TxDOT is awarding a total of $9,000 in scholarships to three high school seniors. The 2023 scholarships are sponsored by iHeartMedia and Ozarka Water.  

Ramon started the recycling uplift program called Project Homeleaf. With the help of his peers, he introduced updated environmental artwork, composting methods, and a greenhouse to his community. At the recycling center, Project Homeleaf recycled and reduced the amount of materials that go to the landfill. They also organized cleanups for the town.

Ramon also noticed a local landfill didn’t have a fence, allowing small winds to blow light objects away, many of which ended up on plants around the area. To combat this, Project Homeleaf coordinated drives around town to collect the plastic bags that blew onto plants and trees. They’re also working with stores on adopting biodegradable plastic bags as a longterm solution to this issue.

“I was determined to do my part, which is why I founded the environmental conservation organization Project Homeleaf. Our goal is to specialize in the protection of the environment and conserve it,” said Rodriguez. 

Don’t Mess With Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. The campaign is the signature initiative for TxDOT’s litter prevention programs, which include Adopt-a-Highway, a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful, and the community outreach and cleanup event the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off. For additional information on Don’t mess with Texas, visit

Media contact
Lauren Macias-Cervantes
June 01, 2023