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Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – I’m Not the Only One on the Road

Name: Delaney Marchant
From: Mission Viejo, CA
Grade: College Freshman
School: Saddleback College
Votes: 0

I’m
Not the Only One on the Road


Proper
driver education is an essential element in teaching young new driver
about the consequences of their actions. As a young driver myself, I
was taught the basic of driving a technical, but never about the
implications of my recklessness. I would speed with my friends in the
car, text behind the wheel, and overall act as though I was above the
law. I was under the impression that only car accidents happened to
irresponsible people who drank and drive; a message that I had heard
so many times before I had become numb to. It wasn’t until the
Summer of 2016 when I was on my way to summer camp and my mother and
I were t-boned by an SUV. Everyone sustained minor injuries, but
other cars were totaled. What shocked me the most was that fact that
the driver of the SUV was a young mother with an infant in the back
seat. She wasn’t drunk, but under the influence of the mesmerizing
piece of technology in her hand. As much as I wanted to be furious
with her for risking the lives of me, my mother, and her own child, I
instead felt huge waves of guilt. This was something I do almost
every single day.

After
that I not only committed myself to becoming a better and safer
driver, but also dedicated myself to educating others. The next year
my school was able to participate in a national program called “Every
15 Minutes”. A few selected students were able to reenact a car
accident resulting from drinking and driving. The entire day left a
very heavy impact on all of the students involved as we were able to
spend a night together brainstorming ways to prevent things like this
from happening again.

I
believe the “Every 15 Minutes” program was able to do for the
students of San Clemente High, what my car accident did for me. We
were able to show people the true implications of your choices behind
the wheel, and break the 4th wall when discussing statistics. I
believe it is presentations such as these that allow students and
young drivers to self reflect on their own behavior. Some may argue
the gratitude of the reenactment is traumatizing and unnecessary, but
I believe that losing a family member, a friend, or anyone at such a
young age is far more traumatizing and unnecessary. My goal was to
show my fellow classmates that ignoring the statistics, increases
your changes in becoming one.


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