Wow! We’ve already had a lot of inquiries on our exciting 2015-2016 scholarship for high school and college students, “Speak Up About Safe Driving: Ten Tips for Teen Drivers.”  The word has definitely gotten out!

Tips for Submitting a Successful Essay

In the interest of a “level playing field,” here are some tips for applicants in terms of how to improve their chances of winning the scholarship, and even more important, improve their essays as our goal is to promote safe driving habits for teens all across America.

  • Focus on the Purpose. The purpose of this essay contest is to encourage safe driving among teens by brainstorming ways for teens to ask their friends to “drive safe” without seeming like the annoying nerd in the backseat. Therefore, in your essay, tailor your content to that end: write the kind of language that “makes sense” to today’s teens.
  • Remember Your Audience. Your audience is fellow teens, not the over thirty crowd! So, again, tailor your essay into the language of today’s teens. Be clever, be creative! Remember, of course, to avoid foul language, as despite its prevalance in today’s society, we are not encouraging bad language.
  • Be short! Shortness is a virtue for this contest. It’ s not about the quantity of words you write; it’s about the quality. Less is more. We’re looking to make a TOP TEN list of ways to ask fellow teens to be safe drivers. So think “David Letterman” top ten list.
  • Driving with Humor. The best list will combine a humorous tone with the seriousness of safe teen driving. If it’s only humorous, it won’t be “on topic.” But if it’s boring and just “on topic,” it won’t be the kind of writing that will not only win the essay / scholarship contest but also be effective in reaching out to teens.
  • Use Good Grammar. This goes without saying.
  • Spellcheck. This goes without saying.

Above all make your essay “authentic.” It should communicate who you are, and how you – as an authentic Georgia young person – would actually talk to your friends in a real way. We all trust and believe people who are “authentic.”

Good luck!