In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, U-Haul asked recent Project Yellow Light scholarship winners to share their tales about producing short films on one of the primary dangers facing young drivers today.
U-Haul became a corporate sponsor of Project Yellow Light in February and will begin funding scholarships for winners of the video competition this year.
Project Yellow Light is devoted to educating young people on distracted driving and its Hunter Garner Scholarship issues $16,000 annually to high school and college students whose video submissions most effectively promote the perils of texting behind the wheel and the need for safe driving among their peers.
The 2015 competition entry deadline was April 1. Winners will be announced in the next several weeks.
Brittany DeVasure, a former high school competition winner, volunteered the following blog explaining the path to her clever 2013 film and the impact the message of distracted driving had on her:
My name is Brittany DeVasure.
I am from Winston-Salem, N.C., and I went to Early College of Forsyth for high school. I now attend Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., and I am a biology major with a minor in photography (weird combination, I know). After college I plan to attend a graduate school program in virology.
Project Yellow Light entered my life during my senior year of high school while I was searching for scholarships to help me pay for school. In high school, my teachers always emphasized the use of technology. So when I found a scholarship opportunity based on a video, I was very excited to get started.
The message behind the scholarship was even better. As a teenager at the time, texting was something I took part in at all times of the day. However, texting and driving didn’t seem like much of an issue to me, as I had barely been exposed to the dangers. After doing my research for the video, I was instantly intrigued and motivated to do what I could. Luckily, I had already found a way to do this!
After preparing and editing my video, I submitted it to the website and didn’t really expect to hear from them again until I got a phone call from (PYL founder) Julie (Garner) while I was in a mythology class. Let’s just say I called my mom, grandma and my best friend before walking back into that classroom!
Project Yellow Light has impacted my life financially with school, but also with the way I treat our distracted driving problem. Like my video says, it’s not a joke. And no one is being as persistent and aggressive towards the problem as PYL.