TCEQ announces Take Care of Texas Video Contest winners

Release Date
Tue, February 26 2019
Congratulations to first place students from El Paso and Fort Worth
Brian McGovern

This year the TCEQ’s Take Care of Texas program received the most entries in the contest’s history, with six videos beating 511 other entries. Taking the top prize in the high school category is Dominique Barraza from Pebble Hills High School in El Paso. First place among middle schoolers is Vibhas Chinta, who attends Vista Ridge Middle School in Fort Worth.

The large number of entries is more than double the entries received last year, and indicates students’ growing interest in demonstrating how to help keep the air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

A panel of judges worked diligently to pick just 12 finalists from the initial pool of 517. Members of the public voted on the 12, and the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place standings were decided by TCEQ commissioners, executive staff, and representatives from the contest partner, Waste Management of Texas, Inc.

The following students were selected as winners:

9 through 12 Grade:

1st Place: $2,500 Scholarship
Dominique Barraza, Pebble Hills High School, El Paso

2nd Place: $1,500 Scholarship
Kate Saltel, Westlake High School, Austin

3rd Place: $500 Scholarship
Josephine Malango, Stevens High School, San Antonio

6 through 8 Grade:

1st Place: GoPro HERO6 Black Premium Package
Vibhas Chinta, Vista Ridge Middle School, Fort Worth

2nd Place: GoPro HERO6 Black Deluxe Package
Talitha Zuniga, Trautmann Middle School, Laredo 

3rd Place: GoPro HERO6 Black Package
Samantha Vaca, Hudson Bend School, Austin

View the videos at

Prizes generously donated by Waste Management of Texas, Inc. will be presented to the first place winners on May 15, the final day of the TCEQ Environmental Trade Fair.

Take Care of Texas is a statewide campaign from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality that encourages all Texans to help keep our air and water clean, conserve water and energy, and reduce waste.

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