Sep. 23—HAVERHILL — Joseph Xavier Smith of Haverhill, a graduate of Phillips Academy in Andover, will be entering college this autumn as a Thoreau Scholar.
The scholarship, named for the 19th-century naturalist and author Henry David Thoreau, is a prestigious award of $26,000 given annually to only eight Massachusetts high school seniors.
The son of Lisa Marie Foster and Joseph Z. Smith, Joseph Xavier Smith credits several sources for his early interest in the environment, including his interest in agriculture, as well as the time spent with his brother Marcus watching the Animal Planet TV show Treehouse Master, where host Pete Nelson built structures with recycled materials.
Fellow Phillips Academy student activist Salvador Gomez-Colon helped Smith focus his interest on organizing communities through infrastructure while Mr. Anthony Lawson, Smith's architecture teacher, taught Smith about minimizing negative impacts of building and making buildings sustainable.
This fall, Smith will enter the University of San Francisco; he intends to learn how to transform major cities into environmentally friendly systems and make housing sustainable and affordable.
The Henry David Thoreau Scholarship is a four-year tuition scholarship awarded to eight students graduating from high schools in Massachusetts. High school seniors awarded the Thoreau Scholarship can enroll in any college and university in the world while they major or minor in an environmentally-related field. Thoreau Scholars are encouraged to enroll in internships or study abroad to broaden their awareness and understanding of environmental issues.
To learn more about the Henry David Thoreau Foundation and the Thoreau Scholarship, please visit thoreauscholar.org. Scholarship applications open Oct. 15 at thoreauscholar.org with a Feb. 1 deadline.