‘EcoAthlete’ project captures awards for Newnan student


Newnan High School junior Ansley Knight has earned the Girl Scout Gold Award, the organization’s highest recognition, for an environmental project that also earned her a spot on a prestigious national list.

Knight, 16, is a member of the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta in Mableton and founded “Project EcoAthlete,” for which she collected more than 320 pounds of shoes and donated them for use in the creation of new public playground surfaces and track molds. She devised the idea after participating in a mud run and realizing her dirty shoes could be recycled.

Knight worked with local organizations to encourage shoe recycling, placed donation boxes at various facilities, and also donated wearable shoes to homeless shelters and American soldiers.

Her project also garnered Knight a spot as a Distinguished Finalist in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, the United States’ largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. The program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.

Knight was one of only 234 students recognized nationwide.