Julie Thompson had a hard time establishing curbside recycling in her Jarrettsville neighborhood when she left bins for glass, cans and plastic at the dead end of Trout Farm Road.
"We had more oppositionthan you could shake a stick out," her mother, Faith Thompson, said Thursday. "But that never deterred her."
So the Thompsons moved the bins to the edge of their lawn, then behind some bushes in their yard, where anyone could drop off recyclable materials for Julie to deliver to the Susquehannock Environmental Center in Bel Air.
That perseverance helped the North Harford HighSchool graduate win the Board of Education's first $3,000 environmental scholarship.
Thompson, 17, led other students in forming a cadre to command a 90-person environmental army the schools hope to recruit by the end of the century. Nine other students -- sponsored by each of the county's high schools and a corporate benefactor -- were also granted $1,000 scholarships last week.
The program, co-sponsored by the non-profit Susquehannock Environmental Center, is designed to help develop an ecologically aware generation.
Each of the 10 winners was required to volunteer 100 hours to environmental causes. The program is linked to the schools' environmental studies classes, which Julie's mother says persuaded her daughter to major in environmental science next year at Salisbury State University.
"Wherever Julie went, she brought a team of classmates with her," said Dennis Kirkwood, the teacher in charge of the county's environmental instructionprogram. "She was the kind of environmental catalyst we need."
The other selected eco-scholars, their schools and sponsors are: Rebecca LaPointe, Aberdeen High, APG Federal Credit Union; Jennifer Evans, Bel Air High, Kleins Superthrift Markets; J. Brad Milton, C. Milton Wright High, Carl Stephens Construction; Candace Bunker, Edgewood High, Maryland Truck & Equipment Co.; Patricia Craten, Fallston High, Village Volvo; Mistie Nagy, Harford Technical High, Dixie Construction; Michelle Holly, Havre de Grace High, Cello Corp.; Amy Higgins, Joppatowne High, Merry-Go-Round; Joanna Mitchell, North Harford High, Harford Sanitation Service.