Rockfall Foundation Awards Scholarship to Joseph Bradley for Cleanup Coalition

The Rockfall Foundation has selected Joseph Bradley of Old Saybrook High School as recipient of the 2021 Virginia R. Rollefson Environmental Leadership Scholarship. Bradley’s leadership was demonstrated by his successful efforts to create and lead the Coastal Cleanup Coalition, a group of 20 regular volunteers who pick up trash around Old Saybrook with a mission of preserving Old Saybrook’s coastal wildlife and ecosystems. Bradley first started his project picking up trash alone a few days a week.

Just a week before he intended to get a widespread initiative underway, COVID-19 restrictions were implemented and OSHS was quarantined. Bradley used this time wisely: working independently, he was able to figure out the best places in town to clean and began to understand the patterns of where trash would accumulate in town. Once restrictions lifted, Bradley used the resources available to him as President of the OSHS Ecology Club and as student liaison to the Conservation Commission of Old Saybrook to spread the word about his new initiative. Soon, he had over 20 students and adults participating in the effort. Now, Bradley has a dedicated group of volunteers that he can rely on when he organizes a cleanup. He is encouraged by their enthusiasm, and believes that his generation will be the one to pioneer environmental reform.

Joe Bradley is a senior at Old Saybrook High School, where he is the president of the ecology club, as well as being heavily involved in theater, the school newspaper, the math team, and the baseball team. Joe served as the student representative for the Old Saybrook Conservation commission, and currently serves as the student representative for the Board of Education. Outside of school, Joe is a barista at Starbucks and spends much of his time writing and playing music. Next year, Joe will attend Harvard University, where he will likely pursue a duel concentration in physics and astrophysics with a secondary in environmental science.

The $1,000 scholarship is awarded each year to recognize leadership and initiative by a high school junior or senior residing in Middlesex County, Lyme, or Old Lyme for a program, project, or activity that benefits preservation, conservation, restoration or environmental education.  Last year’s recipient was Emma Iovene of The Morgan School, for her efforts to eliminate single-use Styrofoam cafeteria trays at her school.

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