Emerging leaders

PalmettoPride launched the Youth Ambassador program in 2022. The Youth Ambassador program is open to South Carolina students between the ages of 14-18 who participate in litter pickup events and are active in school environmental programs. To represent PalmettoPride, Youth Ambassadors attend events on behalf of PalmettoPride and promote litter-free messages and actions in their own communities. Youth Ambassadors are awarded $1,000 scholarships. Contact education@palmettopride.org for more information.

Youth Ambassador responsibilities

  • Attend functions at the State House as schedules permit on behalf of PalmettoPride.
  • Promote litter-free communities.
  • Promote litter prevention messages and actions in your communities.
  • Present to local government councils the importance of litter prevention.
  • Appear in media and social media campaigns for PalmettoPride and KSCB programs.
  • Share pictures and activities on social media (school, organization or parents’ where applicable).


Please submit a brief (max two pages) description of the person and their litter prevention accomplishments. Include pictures, media or social media appearances. Submit a nomination before 2024-2025 academic year to info@palmettopride.org. The deadline entry is October 30, 2024.

  • Must be between the ages of 14 – 18.
  • Have participated in litter pickup events.
  • Are active in school environmental programs or local Keep America Beautiful affiliate where applicable.
  • A recommendation letter from a teacher or guidance counselor.
  • 2.5 GPA or higher.


  • Statewide government recognition.
  • College application/resume building.
  • Graduation cord.
  • Community service hours.
  • $1,000 scholarship.

Current Youth Ambassadors

Laurel Hardy, 2023-2024 PalmettoPride Youth Ambassador

Laurel Hardy is a sophomore at Nation Ford High School in Fort Mill. Laurel first began her sustainability journey in the first grade upon joining the Girl Scouts and began participating in school gardening projects. Over the years, her passion for sustainable living has continued to grow and she currently serves as the Vice President of the Nation Ford Sustainability Club. In addition to hosting Earth Day events, she has assisted in organizing numerous recycling drives, including backpacks and prom dresses, at her school. Since then, she continues to volunteer at litter sweeps in her community and is a beacon for promoting sustainability at her school and beyond.

Haruka Suri, 2023-2024 PalmettoPride Youth Ambassador

Haruka Suri is a senior at Aiken Scholars Academy. Haruka was nominated as a Youth Ambassador for her excellent work as the chair for Earth Month at her school. Working closely with Keep Aiken County Beautiful, Haruka organized a collaborative cleanup project between Student Council and Beta Club at her school. Instead of selecting an easier cleanup site, Haruka and her team opted for a much more challenging illegal dumpsite in order to make a bigger impact. Additionally, Haruka organized a clothes swap to reduce textile waste and an Earth Day-related Lunch & Learn for her peers. By taking a clear initiative and encouraging her peers to do their part, Haruka displayed strong leadership skills and has made a huge difference in her community.