Pen a plan for Earth Day — profit in more ways than one

Helping the environment may be more rewarding than students think — like a $1,000 scholarship.

In honor of Earth Day, Advanced Technology Products (ATP) is hosting the “Earth Drive for Earth Day” contest, which calls for students from grade school to college to submit “green” stories or short videos about how they are improving the environment.

Ten winners will be chosen on May 2 based on creativity and originality. Two students will each receive the scholarships while the other eight winners will each get the ATP EarthDrive, a recyclable and eco-friendly USB drive.

These drives are sold by ATP, along with such products as memory cards, to help raise money for environmental restoration efforts. Everything produced by the company is made from recycled materials.

“Students need to take this opportunity. It’s very simple. It’s a way to say something to the world. Hopefully it will make people see that little things like this work,” said ATP Marketing Specialist Miranda Wijaya.

Michael Plaksin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said that ATP wanted to offer this scholarship to create awareness and excitement, as well as an outlet for ideas.

Approximately 10 Fresno students have submitted their stories so far. Around 100 stories have been received at this point, most coming from high school students. ATP would like to get 200 by the time the contest closes on April 30.

To promote the contest, ATP talked directly with retail associates, as well as within the educational market. They are very satisfied about the initial response.

“We would like to get the program started earlier so that we would be able to generate an even greater response from the students,” Plaksin said.

Plaksin and ATP have been pleased with the stories that have already come in and look forward to reading more.

“The stories are both heartwarming and motivating to us. We hope that it will have the same effect on everyone else who reads them,” Plaskin said.

Tiffany McCausland is one student who has already submitted her story, which has been published on the ATP Web site. In it, she talks about how she recycles at both home and school and wishes to continue doing it, despite obstacles.

“I can’t change the people around me, but I hope the way that I live can be a model to convince people to live green,” McCausland said.

Santa Barbara City College student Nathalie Hersch has taken an even more active role. She created a Facebook group called “Become Green, or at least Greener” to express her thoughts and feelings on the issue.

“I believe with a little help from everyone, we can make small steps towards success. There is no place like home, there is nothing like earth,” Hersch said.

Plaksin thinks that ATP is beginning to make a difference in raising awareness and getting people thinking about how to better the environment through this contest and other endeavors.

“Every chance to make a difference, even a small one, creates an opportunity and a chance to make the world a healthier, happier and greener place to live,” Plaskin said.

To learn more about the contest and how you can enter, go to

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