On Sunday, May 14, 2023 – students from Youth Eco Solutions (YES!) assembled near home plate and watched themselves on the Jumbotron, waiting nervously for the announcer to reveal the results of the annual YES! Competition. Twins mascot T.C. Bear stood by, eager to celebrate with the winners.
The 2023 State Champion, and receiving $500, was the Royalton YES! Team. During the school year, over 40 high school students worked together to accomplish numerous eco-friendly projects, such as adding a solar light to their school sign, educating peers and community members, collaborating with middle school students, and cultivating a natural prairie on their school property.
The 2023 Runner-up State Champion, and receiving $300, was the Sleepy Eye YES! Team. The team is comprised of both private and public school students who invested hundreds of hours toward projects like monitoring water quality, expanding pollinator habitat, recycling, and providing education programs in their school and community.
The 2023 Water Stewardship State Champion, and receiving $200, was the Harbor City International School YES! Team from Duluth. Their projects included testing water quality in Lake Superior, cleaning up a beach, teaching elementary students about stream ecology, and promoting water quality through community collaborations.
“It was an exciting game to watch and I know my students were proud of their award,” said Brian Scott, YES! Coach for the Harbor City team.
The awards ceremony was organized by YES! Director Kalley Pratt and Program Coordinators Deb Groebner and Jasmine Nieto. In addition to the winning teams, the event was attended by competition judges Beth Mercer-Taylor and Carol Jackson, as well as representatives from awards ceremony sponsors LP Building Solutions and TDS Telecom.
State Champion, Royalton High School YES! Team
Runner-Up State Champion, Sleepy Eye YES! Team
Water Stewardship State Champion, Harbor City International School YES! Team