Suffolk middle school students win Keep Suffolk Beautiful video challenge

SSRR Winners- Emery Garza, Harper Sullivan, Mason Blair, and Levi Duran ....jpg
Posted at 11:12 AM, May 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-28 11:12:19-04

SUFFOLK, Va. - Four Suffolk middle school students took home top honors in Keep Suffolk Beautiful's "Start Smart, Recycle Right" video challenge.

Emery Garza, Harper Sullivan, Mason Blair and Levi Duran, all students from Suffolk Christian Academy, paired with teacher Kristy Cornette to create a one-minute video illustrating what items are and are not recyclable and ways to mitigate waste by purchasing reusable goods.

“The Keep Suffolk Beautiful “Start Smart, Recycle Right Video Challenge” was a great way to reinforce to our students the importance of the wise use of our resources," Cornette said. "Students had to consider the many ways that they can reduce the amount of waste they produce, how to properly recycle waste products, and then use a creative format to communicate this information to others. I am very proud of all of our students’ work.”

Each participating group competed on behalf of their school for a chance to win $650 worth of green materials. Suffolk Christian Academy chose a water bottle refilling station, which will help to mitigate waste and reliance on single use plastics.

For Emery, Harper, Mason and Levi, the prize was exciting — but the students say it was fun just working with each other.

“I really didn’t expect to win, but I enjoyed making the video with my friends,” Mason said.

“I feel excited that we won because I wasn’t expecting it," Harper added. "I really enjoyed working with my group because they were really funny.”

With the goals of the video challenge being to educate students and to have fun while doing so, Keep Suffolk Beautiful felt it was a success.

"We were extremely pleased and impressed with all of the student submissions and are already excited about the potential of future challenges," said Keep Suffolk Beautiful board member Sharon LaBella.

Keep Suffolk Beautiful hopes to release more challenges in hopes that it will create more awareness and inspire more participation.

For more information on how to ‘start smart’ and ‘recycle right,’ contact Daniel McDonald, Suffolk Litter Control Coordinator, at or (757) 514-7604.