NEED Student Leadership


The NEED Project recognizes student leadership by awarding the Youth Energy Leadership Award to up to two students each year. Up to two $1,500 awards will be granted for use for college, university or technical school tuition and expenses to deserving students who have demonstrated outstanding energy leadership, knowledge, and an interest in continuing their energy studies for the purpose of seeking a career in energy, STEM, or education. Each year, at least one award will be given to a student who plans to enter the energy field or public service related to energy.


This award is designed to honor students demonstrating effective leadership skills and energy knowledge throughout their association with NEED.
The following are examples of traits the award committee will consider as it chooses recipients of the awards:

  • An effective leader who leads by example and is well respected by his or her peers.
  • An encouraging facilitator who serves as a team leader.
  • A leader who creates excitement and motivates others to accomplish great things.
  • A leader who demonstrates energy awareness at home, school and in the community and educates others about energy.
  • A student who is knowledgeable about energy and has taken the time to not only be a leader of energy activities but has developed a knowledge base about energy and important energy issues.
  • Graduating high school seniors or current first or second year college, university or technical school students.
  • A student showing interest in pursuing a career in the energy, STEM or education field.

2021 NEED Leadership Award Online Application. Applications must be submitted by April 30, 2021.
Please click here to view a PDF of the online application process before proceeding.

2020 Youth Energy Leadership Award

NEED congratulates these outstanding students on each receiving the 2020 Youth Energy Leadership Award! Each will receive $1500 to use towards educational purposes.

Mariam Conde of Aberdeen High School in Aberdeen, MD (Press Release)
Mariam is a graduating senior this spring from Aberdeen High School and has been accepted to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to pursue the field of industrial/systems engineering.

Erin Keene of Ed W. Clark High School in Las Vegas, NV (Press Release)
Erin just graduated in the top 10 percent of her class from Ed W. Clark High School and plans to attend The Ohio State University this fall to major in computer science and engineering.

Patrick Keene of Texas A&M University in College Station, TX (Press Release)
Patrick is currently working towards his degree in industrial distribution engineering at Texas A&M University.

Chira Noce of Regis University in Denver, CO (Press Release)
Chira is currently pursuing a degree in environmental science with minors in both mathematics and physical education at Regis University.

Chloe Weiss of University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL (Press Release)
Chloe just wrapped her sophomore year at the University of Alabama and is pursuing a degree in electrical engineering.

Youth Energy Leadership Runner-Up

NEED also recognizes both, Rishab Jagetia and Madelaine Thompson as runner-up for the 2020 Youth Energy Leadership Award.
Rishab and Madelaine will each receive $500 to use for educational purposes.

Rishab Jagetia of Memorial Senior High School in Houston, TX (Press Release)
Rishab Jagetia is a graduating senior this spring from Memorial Senior High School and has been accepted to Duke University to pursue a degree in environmental science and policy.

Madelaine Thompson of University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH (Press Release)
Madelaine will be a junior at the University of Cincinnati this fall 2020 and is pursuing a degree in social work.

2020 NEED Student of the Year – Teegan Mathey

NEED is pleased to select Teegan Mathey of Oswego East High School (Oswego, IL) as the 2020 Student of the Year.

Teegan’s personal strengths are as impressive as her intellectual accomplishments. Her caring nature and positive attitude towards others allow her to work well with peers and adults alike.  She has been a part of the NEED Youth Energy Conference & Awards staff for the past 3 years and her cheerful presence, creative ideas, and knowledge of energy help make our annual conference and awards event such a success.

For the 50th anniversary of Earth Day this year, her and fellow AP Environmental Science classmates organized an Earth Week presentation for the Illinois State Science Symposium.  From getting community members free energy saving kits, sharing how to upcycle old t-shirts to make dog toys, picking up enough litter to fill over 30 garbage bags and more, she always goes above and beyond with her community service efforts.

Teegan has recently been accepted into the National Honor Society, as well as will start a student internship with the largest electric utility in Illinois, ComEd.  She demonstrates the outstanding qualities we look for in our student recipients of this award and we are certain Teegan is going to continue to take on and succeed at all endeavors the future brings her way.

Congratulations to this extraordinary young woman!

Past Youth Leadership Award Winners:

1994 Doug Blemker

1995 Josh Rising

1996 Judith Elekes

1997 Matt Steele & Tiffany Bonner

1998 Emily Thomas

1999 Heather Brouillet

2000 Heidi Nees

2001 Rebecca Lamb

2002 Justin Paschall

2003 Brian Bosso & Mary Mazarolli

2004 Megan Thoma & David Graham

2005 Jennifer Robinson, Caterina Spaziano, & Chrissy Edwards

2006 Roxie Brown & Michelle Lamb

2007 Whitney Newman & Jake Kesner

2008 Ryan Flynn

2009 Casey O’Connor

2010 Erin Shoaf

2011 Rachael Spencer & Amanda Ramirez Sebree

2012 Alysha Anderson

2013 Brooke Reagan

2014 Ian Munn & Amber Lipsky

2015 Janelli Pineda

2016 Alton Gayton & Laurel Hughes

2017 Diane Wei

2018 Erin Baer & Edmond Gayton

2019 Aidan Kotoski & Jennifer Wei

2020 Mariam Conde, Erin Keene, Patrick Keene, Chira Noce, & Chloe Weiss