Judson ISD student’s passion for gardening leads her to earn $5,000 grant

Caroleena Mancilla is a junior at Judson Early College Academy

SAN ANTONIO – A gardening project led a Judson ISD student to earn a grant that will impact her school for years to come.

Caroleena Mancilla, a junior at Judson Early College Academy, received a donation from a local business to start a garden at her school last year.

“We weren’t able to continue to support the plants, because we didn’t have the proper resources,” Mancilla said.

But it was just the beginning of her gardening journey.

“In December, I met someone who could help me get compost for my school for free,” Mancilla said.

The garden came to life thanks to donations.

Mancilla’s passion for the environment also grew.  She applied and was awarded a $5,000 Echo Scholars Grant.

“In my application I talked about how I wanted to have compost and teach students about the important of compost,” Mancilla said.

The City of San Antonio’s Solid Waste Management Department and Office of Sustainability Award Grant gives funds to projects that directly affect climate change, redaction of greenhouse gasses or other sustainability issues.

The grant is going to be used to create a recycling program and a composting station right next to the garden,” Mancilla said.

Mancilla also wants to continue growing the garden and is seeking donations.

“I’m looking for more plants and fence, because we do have a lot of deer on campus,” Mancilla said.

Mancilla hopes her story inspires other students.

“If you really are passionate about something and want to go for it, just go ahead and go for it because it can turn to something like this. Successful,” Mancill said.

To learn more about the Echo Scholars grant, click here.

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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