Dehr-ing to keep our country green


Bobbi Dehr

Riley Dehr planting daisies in front of NPHS last spring.

Every week, 1,200 pounds of trash is collected and recycled at North Platte High School. Over two tons are collected each month and every public school in North Platte now has at least two recycling bins. Without the help of one courageous NPHS student, 22 extra tons of trash would be left unrecycled.

Senior Riley Dehr was accepted into the Keep America Beautiful Youth Advisory Council (KABYAC) this July. “It is the national council in which 10 kids in the country are chosen to work around the community to do projects,” said Riley Dehr. “I’m super proud. He’s been really excited about this. He’s going to do great things in his career and go a long way,” said club adviser, Bobbi Dehr. Riley Dehr is the first Nebraskan to ever be accepted into the program. “I’m very excited and proud that I get to represent our state within such a prestigious institution,” Riley Dehr said.

Riley Dehr began the long application process for the council back in April. His sponsor got an email from Mona Anderson, Leader of KNPLCB, suggesting for Riley Dehr to apply for the position. “We have had him involved with other activities like the Downtown clean up. He’s very passionate about helping the environment and his mother helps out a lot,” Anderson said. He wrote an essay to tell KABYAC what he has done for the community environmentally. By May, Riley Dehr received a phone call telling him that he made it in the top 15 contenders. “The call was really casual, they asked me what I have done and what my goals were,” he Dehr said.

Riley Dehr will be leaving in January to travel with Anderson to Washington D.C. for five days. In Washington, R. Dehr will be introduced to other council members and will speak at committees to inform about the environment.

Riley Dehr is the leader of the environmental club at NPHS. He started the Environmental Club a year ago. “It’s easy when you live with the supervisor,” he said, “Most schools around here don’t have programs like this which gives North Platte a unique aspect of diversity.”
With the club, comes opportunities to build an eco-friendly community and develop ways for students to gain knowledge about how to help the environment. “The club is not yet funded by the school, but hopefully it will stay permanently,” he said. Riley Dehr and other environmentalists are working hard to keep the club running. “We did candy cane sales last year around Christmas time, and we received grants from projects that we did for the Keep North Platte Lincoln County Beautiful council,”he said. Bobbi Dehr pays for all the other expenses out of her own pocket.

September 7, a meeting was held concerning the funding of the club. Marc Mroczek, NPPS activities director, and James Ayres, NPHS principal were present. At the meeting, Ayres and Mroczek had discussed with the club members about what they had to do in order to get the club funded. “We were wanting a trial year for this year so that next year, the club can get sponsors to keep the club going,” Riley Dehr said. “You need to have your mom fill out a request form, requesting to have the club to be a paid position,” Ayres said. As Ayres explained to R. Dehr about needing a criteria for the club and a sponsor, “It would be better if you had a sponsor from the building to monitor you guys on what you are doing,” Ayres said. The request for the funding will be determined by the North Platte Education Association (NPEA), a union of teachers that works with the school board.