Does anyone actually win scholarships offered online?
Just ask Laura Gonzalez, a senior at Newsome High School who won the $1,000 grand prize in the 11th annual Drive2Life PSA Contest, sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF), a nonprofit group that promotes safe driving behavior.
She saw the scholarship at www.scholarships.com and submitted a script for a public service message about the dangers of drunk and drugged driving. Her script was selected from entries that came from teens nationwide.
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 home as she talks about the risks of driving drunk.
“I made it a relatable situation and used the format I did to hopefully grab people’s attention,” said Gonzalez, who 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.
“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, NSRF’s director of operations.
Drunk driving is an important topic to Gonzalez. Not long after submitting the PSA, a couple of her friends were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver.
Gonzalez said the $1,000 check has been deposited into her bank account and will be used to pay for college. She has plans to attend Florida Atlantic University next year, where the estimated cost of a four-year degree is $101,836.
The win has also inspired her to continue applying for scholarships. In the past month, she has completed about a dozen scholarship applications.
“I was so excited to win money for college, so now I go on scholarship websites once a week to look for scholarships that I can apply for,” she said.
The winning PSA will be available for free viewing and downloading on NRSF’s website at www.nrsf.org/contests/drive2life.