WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — PennDOT has a new program for high school students that will teach them leadership skills and how to keep Pennsylvania clean and litter-free.

This is the first year PennDOT’s Keep PA Beautiful has chosen high school students from around the state for their new Young Ambassadors Program.

“I just found out today that there were like 80-something people, and I was one of the people selected so I was like honored to be selected,” said Jaden Nixon, a Senior at St. John Neumann Regional Academy and Keep PA Beautiful Ambassador.

Of the 84 applicants, 35 high school students, grades 10 through 12, were chosen by PennDOT Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful for their new Young Ambassadors Program.

Nixon is the only student selected in Lycoming County. She’s always had a passion for the environment.

“I love the earth. Like, I just think it’s beautiful and I’ve been like ‘just throw it in the recycling bin, it’s not hard,” Nixon said.

The program runs through May 2023 and will teach students about the impact of litter and prevention, recycling, civic engagement, and leadership skills.

As president of her school’s key club, an environmental service-based club, she’s eager to share new information with her peers.

“I have a role of like leadership and people are going to follow me. So, if I do what I have to do as a role model my hope is to like educate people and have them follow in my footsteps,” Nixon explained.

A little effort goes a long way and Nixon believes programs like this will promote a clean, sustainable environment.

“Of course, you can always do more but it’s like me doing what I can do for my environment and for my community,” said Nixon.

The students have several assignments to complete while in the Young Ambassadors Program.

Their first meeting is Wednesday, October 26.