At Raybin & Weissman, we are so proud of our 2016 Stop Texting and Driving Scholarship winners. These bright students created very effective PSAs, which expressed the dangers of texting and driving. We could not believe how powerful, creative and touching the videos that we received were. Choosing winners was not an easy process.
Qualifying videos were between 30 to 60 seconds in length, made by high school juniors/seniors or college students, and uploaded to YouTube. We awarded a local, regional and a national winner with $1,000 each. Additionally, we awarded two local students with honorable mention prizes of $100.
I had the pleasure of speaking with our Davidson County winner, Zoe McCadams. Zoe just graduated from Nashville School of the Arts. Take a minute to watch her award-winning video, “Life is About Choices,” and then share it with any ten drivers that you kow.
In this video, Zoe plays herself: a high school senior deciding what university she should attend. She compares the difficulties of completing paperwork and choosing a university with the easy decision to abstain from texting and driving.
DW: Hello Zoe, thank you so much for speaking with me.
ZM: Thank you.
DW: Please tell me a little about yourself. I heard you just graduated from Nashville School of the Arts.
ZM: Yes, and now I’m going to study Music Education at MTSU. I just made my schedule the other day, which was very exciting, but also a little scary. I’m going to be very busy!
DW: I bet! I’m a little surprised you don’t want to study Film because your video was so great!
ZM: Thank you, but I’m mostly interested in studying Music along with some courses in Spanish and business.
DW: Well, I’m very impressed that you have narrowed your interests at such a young age. That’s a good thing. So, please tell me how you heard about our scholarship contest.
ZM: I heard about it through a friend. She told my mom about the contest because she thought that I should enter it. I actually entered the contest last year as well.
DW: I see. So, what made you want to enter?.
ZM: I’m very close to my grandparents, and they teach a driver safety program for people with too many tickets on their records. I’ve been going to their classes since I was about five, and I’m a better driver because of it. They were so proud to hear that I was participating in the contest. Each time I’ve entered, I’ve wanted to make them proud and make some money for school.
DW: That’s great. I’m glad you entered as well. So Zoe, in the video you talked about applying to schools. Did your college application experience inspire your PSA?
ZM: Oh yes, while I was drowning in papers from colleges and trying to decide where to go, I just sat down to write the script, and it came out.
DW: So, what message do you hope people will take away from your video?
ZM: I hope this video makes people realize how dangerous and preventable this problem is. Texting and Driving didn’t used to be a problem, and it can be that way again.
DW: Very true. Did you run into any difficulties while filming?
ZM: Editing it was hard and trying not to stumble on my words.
DW: Well, you did a great job! Did anyone help you? I was very impressed by the shot of the interstate.
ZM: Oh yes, my mom helped me. She was the mastermind behind the camera. She got that shot by waiting on the sidewalk of an inter-pass.
DW: Thank goodness for moms. It would be pretty difficult to film everything yourself and be on camera. So, I was wondering if the dangers of texting and driving have ever affected you personally.
ZM: I have never been personally affected, but if there are 300,000 crashes a year because of it, it could happen to anyone.
DW: Yes, that is very true, unfortunately. So, is the prize money going to make a big difference in your life?
ZM: Yes! I am so happy to say that with this scholarship, music scholarships and the HOPE scholarship, I can completely pay for my first year at MTSU.
DW: I am so happy to hear that, Zoe! Congratulations on all of your scholarships and best of luck at school. I know that I’m proud of you, and so are your parents and grandparents.
ZM: Thank you. I just can’t thank Raybin & Weissman’s law firm enough for that. Without the stress of payment, now all I have to do is stress about passing.
By sharing her personal story and coupling that with impressive camerawork and clear, powerful statistics, Zoe created a video that really stood out from the rest.
Life is about choices.
We know that some choices have the power to completely change our lives, and choosing a university is one of them. People don’t think that replying to a text while driving could completely alter the course of their own lives and the lives of others, but statistics show that choosing to text and drive can be a life-altering decision.
Congratulations again, Zoe, and thank you for helping us raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving!