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Carys Gibbs, 18, got a surprise when she read an email saying she was a recipient of The Kiwibank Local Hero Medal.

Gibbs is known for her environment and climate change advocacy and has run multiple events to improve awareness and action around the issue.

She was awarded the medal for the Manawatu district because she lives in Eketahuna.

Gibbs said she did not know who nominated her for the medal or why.

“It’s a bit of a mystery to me,” she said.

“I would guess it would either be for [standing for] council or [being involved with] the school strike.”

She said climate change and advocacy for the environment had been a big focus for her this year, whether that was through the school strikes or through running for council.

Finding out about the award added to a great week as she had also learned she would be receiving an Emerging Leader’s scholarship for Canterbury University where she hopes to study a Bachelor of Science in environmental science and ecology.