Nicolina Pappas


Wisdom Council USA

Nicolina Pappas is a middle schooler based in Rock Island, Illinois. When Nicolina was 8 years old, she started Nicolina’s Turtle Co. as a way to combat single-use plastic by sewing and selling metal straw holders to raise money for conservation efforts. To this day, she has donated over $5,000 towards establishing an environmental camp scholarship fund, classroom outreach, and ambassador animal care. She has involved other youth in order to create a team for Nicolina’s Turtle Company. Over the past few years, Nicolina’s Turtle Co. has convinced schools and restaurants to eliminate plastic straws, presented for summits, conducted workshops, and has hosted regional cleanups. Nicolina is currently working with city leaders to enact plastic reduction proclamations and a city-wide campaign, and hopes to work with state leaders in the near future. Nicolina is the recipient of the Sun Foundation’s Making Waves Award and has been featured by NPR and local TV stations and newspapers.