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AUSTIN — Texas high school seniors who care about the environment have the chance to win a college scholarship by composing a 350-word essay explaining what they’ve done to improve the litter situation in their community.

The ninth annual Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship is sponsored by BASF Corporation’s Freeport, Texas, location in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess with Texas is accepting essays for the 2012 Scholarship March 15 through April 20.

“This scholarship is such a fit for what we at BASF are trying to accomplish. From the products we make that impact the quality of our lives every day to how we operate our facilities safely and as good stewards of our environment, we are living the ‘Don't Mess with Texas’ philosophy,” said Chris Witte, senior vice president and site manager, BASF Freeport.

The first-place winner will receive $3,000. The second- and third-place winners will receive $1,000 each.

Don’t Mess with Texas is a litter prevention campaign sponsored by the Texas Department of Transportation. The scholarship is one of TxDOT’s efforts to generate more youth involvement in the campaign.

“The scholarship requires students to write an essay explaining the litter prevention efforts they’ve made in their community, and we’re always impressed with how hard many high school students work to keep Texas beautiful,” said Brenda Flores-Dollar, program administrator for TxDOT’s Travel Information Division, which manages the Don’t Mess with Texas campaign.

Eligibility:

• Any high school senior graduating spring 2012, who currently resides and attends school in Texas

• Seniors planning to further their education at an accredited two- or four-year college or university (public or private) in Texas

• Timeline: March 15–April 20. Materials are due via email or must be postmarked by April 20.

Requirements:

• A 300- to 350-word essay identifying a litter problem in the student’s school or community and the action he or she took to address it

• A completed Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship application sent online or by mail with the essay by April 20. For the application, mailing address or further details, visit www.DontMessWithTexas.org.

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