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Thank you to everyone who participated in the second of the three scholarship contests for the year 2023. We are grateful to everyone who took the time to write, research, and share intimate stories about driver education’s importance. Some of the essays dealt with being involved in a motor vehicle accident and dealing with the tragic aftermath. Some of the stories, sadly, even deal with the loss of life due to a motor vehicle crash. Sharing your story could potentially save a life by introducing how grave the consequences of driver distraction can be.

We applaud you for taking the issue seriously enough to educate others about it. The quality of the submissions this year was as great as ever. On top of all the great submissions we received, usually about 300 essays, we received over 1,100 essays for this round, many with the assistance of AI technology, making our task of selecting a winner much more difficult. We truly wish we could award every participant for their efforts. There were so many well-written and researched papers dealing with the importance of driver education. We truly enjoyed reading the submissions and will continue to share your stories, thoughts, and advice on what we can do to save lives and ensure the safety of all those who share our roadways. And now to announce the winners for this round.

For the most shared essay, ” Responsible Drivers for the Win” by Martiez Pinnick.  Great Job Martiez!

Selecting the winner for staff favorite was difficult, as it always is. Each staff member selected their favorite, and the winning essay was randomly selected from the staff favorites. It was the only way to select our favorite, as there were so many great submissions. For staff favorites, we chose two winners, Millicent Moreland’s “The Many Joys of Ignorant Driving” and Madison Victoria Belin’s “Bumper to Bumper.” Millicent’s essay was a personal story of learning to drive from her parents and is a reminder of the importance of a trained driving instructor for many students who are just starting to drive. Victoria’s humorous yet insightful essay also took on the need for driver education and driver instruction in communities that do not have enough access to such training and the importance of access to such training in underserved communities.   Thank you both for all your efforts in promoting the importance of driver education and for sharing your personal stories. Great job, and congratulations!

We also have a few honorable mentions, awarded a prize of three hundred and fifty dollars. These are “How Aviation Risk Management Should be Applied to Driving” by Michael Ancel, “From Apps to Automatic Braking: Technology To Make Roads Safer” by Artem Khaiet, and lastly, “Be A Hero: Get Educated and Protect the People” by Kathleen Medrano.

We say this every year, but it bears repeating. Ideally, there would be no need for scholarship contests, and every citizen would be assured a free college education. As you know, a high school degree does not go too far these days, and to limit one’s access to a good education and God-given potential because of a lack of resources is truly unjust when we have the means to provide otherwise.  So, it is also up to you to declare that you wish for a college education to be granted as a right for all and not just an option for some. You all will soon be or are now of voting age, and your views can be put into law to bring about a better future for your generation and generations to come. I do hope you will get involved in bringing about this change. Bless you all. Thanks again to all participants.