Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Escape Day

Name: Karina Torres
From: San Juan , Puerto Rico
Grade: 11
School: Cupeyville School
Votes: 64

Escape Day

As a teenager
one of my goals was to have my driver license. I can remember how
much I insisted to buy a booklet with the safety measures and how I
took every available online quiz. Finally, the day of the test
arrived, and I passed the written test. Then my ultimate goal was
only six months away from me. I practiced my driving skills, I took
lessons and I past the practical test. My mother took me out to
celebrate and there was where she dropped the bomb on me. She told me
a story about her High School experience I have never heard of:

“All my
efforts were focused on one day “Escape Day”. All my peers will
reunite at school at May 1st, the first day of the Puerto
Rican Summer. All the senior students will leave school to a Seven
Seas Beach. The weather was awesome; the sun was high, and the sky
was blue.

We left and all
the way we were teasing each other. At the beach some of my friends
were drinking alcohol and doing drugs. I thought that was normal; we
were just being teenagers. We spend the day at beach and after a fun
day we decided that we had enough and packed everything to return our
homes. In our way back, we were teasing each other again, but there
was a difference: some were drunk. All happened in a second, when I
realized what had just happened, Lynda was in the asphalt bleeding.
One of my friends has been expelled of the car and were laying in the
ground. She seems so quiet. We were scared to death. Ambulances came
and took her to the hospital. Minutes seems to be hours and hours
seems to be ages. Finally, a doctor came out and asked for relatives.
I heard the worst words anyone could hear: I am sorry, we did
everything that we could, but she is dead. Suddenly, reality slapped
me on the face. She was gone, I will never see her again. That was
the worst funeral of my life. I still remembered the guilt we felt.
Graduation Day came with a deep sorrow: an empty chair. I had a sweet
and sour feeling all the ceremony.”

This shocked me
out! Something must be done. Something must change. Teenagers think
they are invincible. A campaign for safe driving is necessary. Life
losses must stop. As the Vice-president of the school Safety Club I
proposed an assembly to have a panel to discuss this matter. We
invited Transportation and Public Affairs representatives. I know
that my friends get drunk and drive. I pretend to create
self-awareness on this matter. If you drink, you do not drive. We
are making posters and pasting them in the senior area to create
awareness. We are sending links by email to the school parents so
they could talk to their children about safe driving. Education is
the key. My plan is to share this information with other school
friends to help prevent accidents and deaths in our streets. We can
do the difference.

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