The resourceful use of animals and humor to convey a serious message was a common thread among the $5,000 first-place winners of the 2015 Project Yellow Light scholarship video competition.
U-Haul International, Inc. corporate partner Project Yellow Light recognized its annual Hunter Garner Scholarship recipients this week for producing the best student videos to educate young people on the dangers of distracted driving.
U-Haul will issue $16,000, the total scholarship monies awarded to the top three students across both divisions, as well as in-kind moving expenses to the winners as part of its role in helping promote the perils of texting and phone use behind the wheel.
Brothers Sam and Wrenn Senser of Louisville, Neb., captured first in the college division for their amusing role reversal of deer driving a car while young people – faces buried in their smart phones – stop in the middle of the road like, well, a deer in headlights. Sam, who attends Metro Community College in Omaha, used his grandfather’s deer mounts as film props. View the winning college video below:
Marlowe Lexvold of South Haven, Minn., took first in the high school division for his animated film of a penguin sledding down an icy hill on its belly, pulling out a phone to text and then plowing into a pile of snow. Marlowe will be attending Savannah College of Art and Design this fall. View the winning high school video here below:
“U-Haul congratulates the winners and thanks all the students who invested their efforts and creative talents in this year’s Project Yellow Light competition,” U-Haul Executive Vice President Stuart Shoen said.
“Your inspiring films have the ability to reach fellow students and they champion a life-saving message that no text or call is important enough to take your eyes off the road. U-Haul customers and their families will experience safer travels directly as a result of their excellent work.”
In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April, U-Haul launched an online distracted driving course at http://myuhaulstory.com/distracted-driving. The free, self-guided tutorial serves to educate participants of all ages on the dangers of distracted driving. As added incentive, U-Haul is offering discounts on UhaulCarShare to those who complete the course.
U-Haul aligned with Project Yellow Light in February and served on the contest judging panel as part of the partnership.
Lindsey Brown (Culver City, Calif.) produced an emotionally jarring film of a little boy being run over by his older brother, who was texting while driving, to claim second place in the college division. Watch her video below:
Tiago DeSouza (Hagerstown, Md.) went the sports route for his funny third-place college video, using a “distracted driver” play on words by having a texting golfer strike his pal with a golf ball. Watch his video below:
Aneyza Clark (Lancaster, Texas) of the Booker T. Washington School of Performing Arts in Dallas put her legitimate rapping skills (she has a band) on display in her second-place high school project. Watch her video below:
Ryan Robert Reid (Fayetteville, Ga.) of College Park’s Woodward Academy appealed to drivers of all ages in his third-place high school film, showcasing a father in a wheelchair due to distracted driving. Watch his video below:
The Ad Council will edit the first-place videos into Public Service Advertisements and distribute them to 1,600 TV stations nationwide.
To learn more about the competition, visit http://www.projectyellowlight.com. To view a wide selection of past winners, visit www.youtube.com/user/projectyellowlight.
Have you taken the free U-Haul distracted driving course yet? If not, check it out here. If so, please share your thoughts with us on how helpful it was and what we can do to make it even better in the comment box below.
About Project Yellow Light
Project Yellow Light is a film competition designed to give high school and college students a voice and a role in reversing the number of car crashes in the U.S. This non-profit scholarship was created by Julie, Lowell and Alexandra Garner in memory of their son/brother, Hunter who died tragically in a car crash in 2007. Project Yellow Light proudly partners with the Ad Council, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Mazda Motorsports, the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) and U-Haul.