Collierville board appoints student rep to Environmental Commission

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By Aarron Fleming

 After multiple requests from Collierville High School, residents on social media, and from the town’s website, Collierville BMA voted to appoint a student representative to serve on its environmental commission at Monday night’s meeting.

Grant Gates, a rising junior at CHS, beat two of his fellow students to secure a spot on the commission for the next year.

Gates is an incredible student and community member who has won numerous awards for academic achievement.

At the high school, Gates maintains a 4.3 GPA and has won several awards for academic achieving including: the State of Florida Medal for Duke Tips High ACT score and an academic achievement award for Algebra 1 Honors.

He also participates in several extracurricular activities including working as a student news broadcaster and being a member of the school’s cross-country team.

Furthermore, Gates has completed over 200 hours of community service.

The Environmental Commission is made up of eight members that are appointed to one-year terms.Every year, a student is also selected to serve on the commission.

While there are no residency requirements, the nominations came down to Gates and two other students who attend Collierville High School and live in the city.

Out of the three applications that the board received, Gates was the only one that was able to secure an official nomination.

His competition this year was stiff, but he was able to come out on top.To win the position, he had to beat fellow students, Pavani Epparla and Linda Yoo. Both of his competitors have similar academic records and are active members of numerous clubs and associations.

Epparla, who will be a senior at CHS in the fall, not only was a member of several clubs and associations at the high school, but also lead them as president and vice president. She also boasts an even higher GPA than Gates at 4.78.She is currently a member of the Collierville Youth Leadership Collierville Class of 2020, the Key Club, and the Red Cross Club.

She served as president and secretary of the Collierville Burch Library’s Teen Advisory Board and president and vice President of the Technology Student Association Club.

She also served as publicity Director for the Project Marine club and as cultural director for the youth Telugu Association of Memphis.

Linda Yoo, who is also a rising senior at CHS, has similarly served in different capacities at several different clubs and associations.

Yoo is co-president of Youth In Government, TN state director for Coalition Z Memphis, chapter head of Dear Asian Youth Memphis, platform captain of Speech and Debate, outreach coordinator of Period 901 Memphis and social media coordinator of the UpCycle Club.

She is also a member of Model UN, Beta Club, National Honor Society, National Spanish Honor Society, Rho Kappa, Cum Laude Society, Honor Academy, Speech and Debate and the TN Governor’s School for International Studies.

As a representative, Gates will serve on the board until December 31, 2021 and will help advise the Collierville BMA on environmental issues affecting the town.