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Thank you to everyone who participated in the third 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 the importance of driver education. Some essay submissions dealt with being involved in a motor vehicle accident and the tragic aftermath. Others, sadly, even deal with the loss of life due to a motor vehicle crash. Sharing your story could 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. We received over 1,000 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 suggestions 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, ” The Importance of Driving Education in Saving Lives” by Heriberto Sastre.  Great Job Heriberto!

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, Leon Levin “The Human Cost of Irresponsible Driving” and Arielle’s  “The Hills“. 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 “Driver License Needed at 16”  by Ella Youngstrom, “My Road to Defensive Driving ” by Kaden Eichelberger, “Fighting for Lives” by Samantha Wilhelm, “Revving Up Responsibility: Turning Safe Driving into the Coolest Trend” by Ellie Mohr, “Navigating the Road to Safety” by Kelis Sims, Milliseconds, by Danté Alexander Marzett, “Five Second Future” by Elizabeth Daisy Hutchinson, “Speeding, Drowsiness, & Texting-A Guide to Saving Lives and Not Being Jeanine” by Michya Caprice Parham, “To People Who Don’t Care” by Madison Miller, and “How Driving Education Needs to Improve” by Todd Kanno. Great job everyone!  We wish we could award every participant, as reading your essays was a true pleasure.

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.