August 5, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Teen Advisors Selected to Help Design 7th Annual DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest
Hall High School’s DeCourcy Is Teacher with Most Ranking Videos
And Says Video Contest is Highlight of School Year for Students
WETHERSFIELD -- DMV announced today that nine high school students have been selected as teen advisors to help organize and plan this year’s DMV-Travelers teen safe driving video contest, which is entering its seventh year.
Teen advisors, representing both public and private high schools, play a large role in staging the statewide competition. These advisors determine the contest theme, administer the social media pages and promote the contest in high schools and a variety of other forums.
Open to high school students, the contest requires them to create 25-second public service videos on teen safe driving. Members of the winning teams receive monetary rewards for their schools, as well as individual prizes. Travelers is the contest’s corporate prize sponsor.
“We are glad to see these nine teens taking the initiative to make a difference in our community. Their dedication to this program will help the DMV and Travelers continue to make this contest successful and share a message that resonates with teens all over the state,” said DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey.
In the last six years DMV has offered the contest, hundreds of high school students have participated in it. Hall High School of West Hartford led the pack of schools by garnering a Top-10 spot nine times, with seven ranking high enough to earn cash prizes. Retired teacher Dan DeCourcy championed the contest with his students that put him and them in this special category as best in the contest overall in six years.
“For the past six years I've had students in my Hall High Graphics classes participate in the DMV teen safe driving video contest. For many of the students, it's one of the highlights of their school year. Besides the creativity and technical aspects, the opportunity to portray real life situations in video form is captivating. The contest allows students to collaborate in a group activity which is a life skill as well as a core course requirement. Listening to peers, sharing ideas and sending a great message about safe driving to the teens all over the world is an extraordinary opportunity no class or teacher should miss.” DeCourcy said.
Working with the teen advisors is David S. Shapiro MD, Chief, Surgical Critical Care, and trauma surgeon at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, in Hartford. He emphasized the importance of teens' creating effective video public service announcements.
"This contest does something no other efforts seem to accomplish--it engages our younger drivers in the guidance of their peers and those with influence over them. When people we trust--our peers--give us advice, we listen." he said.
The 2014-15 teen advisors are:
Audrey Apanovitch of Glastonbury, a senior at Glastonbury High School
“I wanted to become a teen advisor because I believe that safe teen driving is something very important and needs to be addressed more often to teen drivers everywhere in order to prevent teen car crashes and ultimately teen deaths on the road.”
Ama Appiah of Middletown, a senior at Mercy High School.
"After a successful contest last year, I decided to become a teen advisor once again. I wanted to be involved in issues regarding our youth and start the conversation about safe driving with my own peers as well as teens in my community"
Allie Caselli of Woodbury, a senior at Nonnewaug High School.
“I wanted to be a teen advisor in this year’s video contest because I think it is important to educate young people, like myself, about the dangers of driving and I hope that we as a group will make a positive impact among teen drivers.”
Abhishek Gupta of Rocky Hill, a junior at Xavier High School.
“Being a teen advisor is such a great opportunity not only because we promote safe driving practices but also because, as teens, we are able to bring the perspectives of our generation to the table and this allows us to spread the safe driving message all the more effectively.”
Benjamin Harlee of Hartford, a senior at Classical Magnet School
“I heard about being an advisor through a colleague of my mother's. When I heard that I could make a difference in my (and many other teens') future in driving safety, I couldn't resist.”
Stephanie Lewis of Woodbury, a senior at Nonnewaug High School.
“I chose to be a teen advisor again this year because I think it is important to continue spreading the message that choosing to drive safe is a simple decision that can have a resounding impact on all of our communities.”
Estefania Maya of Wethersfield, a senior at Wethersfield High School
“I got involved as a teen advisor after an interview, when I first heard about the contest. I figured I would be helping a great cause while spreading awareness of teen safe driving, and I would be learning more about communication and marketing.”
Hannah McCollam of New Fairfield, a senior at Nonnewaug High School.
"I chose to become a teen advisor with the hope that I will be able to inspire other teens and young drivers to take a stand and be aware of their own actions and decisions, as well as inspire them to spread the message of safe driving to their own friends. I hope that my work as a teen advisor will have a positive impact on the teens of the state of Connecticut and even those beyond our own borders."
Sophia Pelletier of East Hampton, a junior at Mercy High School
“Being a teen advisor gives me the opportunity to be part of something larger than myself to bring awareness to teens of the responsibilities they take on as young drivers.”