Employee Finds Purpose Volunteering with Children Exploring Environmental Conservation
Each year, Dominion Energy partners with the National Conservation Foundation's Envirothon as students across the country participate in a competitive challenge to solve environmental challenges. The Envirothon is designed to build leadership skills, educate future stewards, promote E-STEM (environment, science, technology, engineering and math) education, create community awareness and foster appreciation and respect for the natural world. High school students grades 9 through 12 attend statewide competitions then compete for the national prize of $15,000. With real world application, students are given a problem scenario to then identify solutions for a variety of topics including innovative solutions like solar powered irrigation, creative invasive species mitigation, wetlands restoration, and economically beneficial agriculture solutions. After six months to prepare an action plan, students present a range of problem solving tactics to a group of judges.
This year, Dominion Energy Transmission’s Sr. Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Traci Ricottilli, stepped into the role of judge in her home state’s competition . With nearly 14 years of experience with the company, Traci said this was one of the most impactful experiences of her career. A native from Tucker County, W.Va., Traci has had a longtime appreciation for the lands surrounding her saying, “I grew up seeing farms, meadows, rivers and mountains all around me. I admired their beauty and am fortunate to have found a career where I work every day to protect these natural resources.” Traci reflected on her experiencing judging the WV Envirothon saying, “I had no idea what to expect and was blown away by what these young students came up with to increase sustainability and identify resources for local farmers to expand conservation efforts.”
Since 2018, Dominion Energy has contributed nearly $90,000 to state and national Envirothon competitions across our footprint. Learn more here.