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CBHS Senior Wins Microgrant

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CBHS Senior Wins Microgrant
Posted on 02/26/2020
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Casco Bay High School senior Siri Pierce is one of just 11 students nationwide chosen as a 2020 Rep My City Microgrant winner. Siri won for her advocacy for solar panels at the Portland Public Schools.

The grants were awarded in the Rep My City Challenge, a campaign in which Pop-Tarts, Kellogg and United Way partnered to spotlight young people who have the vision to create the change they want to see. Each winner gets a $5,000 grant, and may work with their local United Way to promote and implement their ideas.

The Rep My City Challenge asked young people ages 13-22 to develop a creative way to address issues in their communities. Submissions included ideas to provide beds for the homeless, support translation for immigrants, boost volunteerism, increase after-school activities, reduce neighborhood crime and more.

“Gen Z is uniquely positioned to take action to shape the future,” said William Browning, United Way’s Chief Transformation Officer. “And they’re using the experiences of their peers locally and globally to shape the world of their dreams. We saw some great ideas in the Rep My City Challenge, and are excited to help these young leaders translate their passion into action.”

The Portland Board of Public Education in August approved a plan to develop a 3,500-kilowatt solar project that could cover 60 to 80 percent of the district’s energy needs and result in an estimated $50,000 per year in savings.

The board unanimously passed a resolution directing Superintendent Xavier Botana to work as rapidly as possible to pursue a power purchase agreement for an offsite, metered solar project. The resolution credits SolaRISE – an organization of students from all three of the district’s high schools of which Siri is an organizer – with leading the effort to build support for a solar energy program in the Portland Public Schools.

Below are Rep My City Challenge winners:

Sophie Bernstein, 19, St. Louis, MO - Community Vegetable Gardens

Aditya Desai, 16, Livingston, NJ – Financial Literacy Workshops

Jadyn Gomberg, 17, Corona, CA – Anti-Bullying Campaigns

Andres Guerra, 17, Brownsville, TX – Day of Giving

Ravin Hardaway, 20, Detroit, MI – College Readiness Workshops

Eric Jing, 16, Atlantic City, NJ - STEM Workshops

Jane Josefowicz, 16, Providence, RI – Refugee Translation Services

Crystal Martinez Fernandez, 22, Orange County, CA – Plastic Waste Pop Up Shops

Siri Pierce, 17, Portland, ME – Solar Panels for Schools

Caroline Sentell and Courtney Byington, 16, Knoxville, TN – Beds for Homeless Youth