Utah 12-year-old nationally recognized for litter cleanup

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Courtesy: Holmstead’s

LEHI, Utah (ABC4) – A 12-year-old from Lehi, Utah is being nationally recognized as a top volunteer of 2021. 

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards honored a Logan and Lehi student this year with a $2,500 scholarship, silver medallion, and invitation to a virtual celebration for their work addressing the challenges of a changing world. 

Levi Holmstead

Levi Holmstead has been recognized as the Middle-Level State Honoree and was nominated by Lehi Junior High School. 

Levi is a seventh-grader who now attends Cedar Middle School. He was nominated after spending many hours cleaning up litter in and around a local lake and spent a lot of his time removing golf balls from waterways surrounding a local golf course.

While riding on his paddleboard at a lake one day Levi says he realized how much garbage there was. “There was years of garbage and some of it was submerged,” Levi shares. 

He says seeing the piled up debris inspired him to volunteer. “I was at a pond and it started to see bobbers in the bushes so I would paddle over and pick them up, then I started picking up fishing jigs, then I noticed that there was a ton of Gatorade bottles and trash in the water, so I started picking up the garbage. Later I started collecting golf balls by the Jordan River and Thanksgiving Golf Course,” Levi tells ABC4. 

Soon after discovering the collecting trash, he committed himself to pick up 100 pieces of trash every time he visited the lake. One day he even pulled an old bicycle out of the water.

Levi tried to spend a couple of hours twice a week picking up trash at the lake, sometimes even recruiting friends and family to help. 

When asked why it is important to keep his community clean Levi says “because the animals will die with a dirty community, and the air pollution was getting bad so people couldn’t breathe.”

Levi says he thinks it is “awesome and a big honor” to be nationally recognized for his service. Looking forward, he says he plans to clean up trash all around Cedar City and encouraged others to “always clean up the community no matter what.” 

Levi’s parents say “this type of service is filled with excitement and adventure,” and say they are thankful he never got hit by a gold ball while cleaning them up. 

“His greatest joy in this award is that he beat his 14-year-old sister out of the award,” his parents add. Levi’s sister submitted an application as well. She organized tutors at Sego Lily Elementary. 

Jisung Lee, a senior at Logan High School was also recognized for forming an organization that is helping teen refugees in Utah feel welcomed, adjust to their new surroundings, excel in the classroom, and learn about educational opportunities beyond high school. 

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