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Florida Teen Wins "Drive2Life" PSA Contest With Script About Danger of Drunk and Drugged Driving
- Wednesday, Jun. 9, 2021
16-year-old wins $1,000 and will work with Emmy-winning director to make her PSA; The National Road Safety Foundation will air the video on 160 TV stations nationwide
Laura Gonzalez, a Florida high school student, has won the grand prize in the 11th annual Drive2Life PSA Contest, sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a non-profit group that promotes safe driving behavior.
Gonzalez, 16, a junior at Newsome High School in Lithia, FL, submitted a script for a public service message about the danger of drunk and drugged driving. Her idea was selected from entries that came from teens nationwide, winning the top prize of $1,000. She also will work remotely with a New York-based Emmy Award-winning production team to shoot and edit her script into a 30-second PSA that will air on hundreds of TV stations including the nationally-syndicated show "Teen Kids News."
Gonzalez said she wanted the PSA to have an interesting and different look. "I hope it will draw in young people to watch it because it's eye-catching," she said.
Her winning idea is a throwback to the era of silent movies, in black and white and using titles on the screen to show the dialogue. In it, two girls leave a party, the driver obviously too drunk to drive. Her friend grabs the keys and safely drives them home as she talks about the risks of driving drunk.
"We chose Lauren's idea because it has a different look and communicates a simple but important message about not letting a friend drive while under the influence," said Michelle Anderson of The National Road Safety Foundation.
The winning PSA will be available for free viewing and download on The National Road Safety Foundation's website at https://www.nrsf.org/contests/drive2life.
Four runners-up were also selected in the Drive2Life competition, each winning a $500 prize. Runners-up in the Grades 6–8 category are Grayson Rhodes, 13, and Wyatt Raney, 13. Both are students at Stuart Pepper Middle School in Brandenburg, KY. Runners-up in grades 9–12 are Clare Inyang, 16, of Ledyard High School in Ledyard, CT and Raina Cheng, 16, of Leon Goldstein High School for the Sciences in Brooklyn, NY.
The contest was conducted in partnership with Young Minds Inspired (YMI), the nation's leading provider of free educational outreach programs through its YMI Educator Network, which reaches more than 2 million teachers at every public, private, and parochial school in the nation.
The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization founded nearly 60 years ago, produces traffic safety programs on distracted driving, speed and aggression, impaired driving, drowsy driving, driver proficiency, pedestrian safety and a host of other safety issues. It distributes the programs free of charge to schools, police and traffic safety advocates, community groups and individuals. It also sponsors contests to engage teens in promoting safe driving to their peers and in their communities. For more information or to download free programs, visit www.nrsf.org and "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.