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Johnson High graduate wins award from Obama administration
Scott Allen honored for work with Federal Highway Administration
1208Scotty allen
Scott Allen Jr.

A passion to serve his community is paying off in a White House way for Hall County’s Scott Allen Jr.

The Obama administration recognized Allen, among others, in late November with the 2015 GreenGov Presidential Awards, which are part of a March 19 executive order President Barack Obama issued in setting targets for federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“I’ve always had an interest in giving back and improving my community, so this was an opportunity to do it while working,” said Allen, 29, a Johnson High School graduate.

He won in the “Good Neighbor” category of the award as part of his work with the Federal Highway Administration’s Tennessee division in Nashville.

“It was quite a treat,” he said, of receiving the award. “It was the first time I have been to the White House. It was a real honor.”

Allen missed seeing Obama, who was in Paris talking about climate change, “which is a key component of the executive order,” he said.

“But we did get to talk with his chief sustainability officer and some other executives” from the U.S. Department of Transportation and highway administration, Allen said.

The presidential awards are meant to recognize efforts to “create a clean energy economy that will increase our nation’s prosperity, promote energy security, protect the interests of taxpayers, combat climate change and safeguard the health of our environment,” according to a White House press release.

Allen and a co-worker, Corbin Davis, specifically were honored for teaming up with universities, the Memphis Metropolitan Planning Organization, the Tennessee Department of Transportation and others in efforts that led to increased funding for infrastructure, facilities and services to improve different modes of transportation.

The focus is on sustainability, “creating a vision to grow our communities in such a way that are healthy, economically self-sustaining and have connected transportation systems that provide access for all users — whether you’re driving a car, taking a bus or riding a bicycle,” Allen said.

“We have several initiatives that touch on those areas in Tennessee,” he said.

His mother, Tammy Allen, who lives in South Hall County, is certainly proud of her son, who attended Gainesville State College (now University of North Georgia) before graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia.

“I’m just thrilled. He is such a hard worker and such a good guy,” she said of her son, who also has earned his master’s degree from Georgia State University. “He has wonderful morals and has done well for himself, and we miss him so much.”