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17-Year-Old California High School Student Wins CTIA Wireless Foundation National Drive Smart Digital Short Contest Grand Prize

by CTIA Wireless Foundation | Apr 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – Today, CTIA Wireless Foundation™ announced O.C. School of Arts Senior Claire Offenberger, 17, of Irvine, California, as the grand prize winner of its second annual “Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses” teen digital short contest. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx presented Offenberger with the Foundation’s grand prize award, which included a scholarship of $5,000.

Through a partnership with By Kids For Kids, CTIA Wireless Foundation created the Drive Smart campaign to inspire teens to create compelling digital shorts to discourage their peers (and adults) from distracted driving. Offenberger’s digital short was selected from hundreds of digital short submissions from students across the country.

“Distracted driving is a dangerous and deadly habit on America’s roadways, which is why the Department of Transportation has made it a priority to encourage people to stay focused behind the wheel,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Foxx. “I congratulate Claire on her accomplishment, and am confident that this type of work will play an important role in raising awareness that staying focused is the only way to stay safe on the road.”

“We live in a hyper connected world that often, ironically, disconnects us from what is happening in the present—as though we are blindfolded. Using blindfolds makes the concept of texting and driving seem less casual and acceptable, thus calling for a change. I realize that texting and driving is no different than driving with your eyes shut,” Offenberger said. “I hope my Drive Smart digital short will spark change for others.”  

“The wireless industry is committed to educating consumers about driver safety and distracted driving. I’m proud of the Foundation’s Drive Smart program that helps engage teenagers and provides a platform for young drivers to show their peers why driver safety is the number one priority when driving,” said Meredith Attwell Baker, President of CTIA Wireless Foundation and President and CEO of CTIA.

In addition to Offenberger’s scholarship, her teacher and mentor, Aaron Orullian, received $500. Two runners-up were each awarded $1,000 scholarships: Kristen Mittler of Washington, Missouri, and William Schwartz of Masonville, New York. Three semifinalists each won $500 scholarships: Charles Taylor of Cincinnati, Ohio; Jeron Kreamer of Middleburg, Pennsylvania; and Dana Berejka of Mercer Island, Washington.

The grand prize winner, runner-ups and semifinalists were chosen by five senior executives from the wireless, automotive and advertising industries. Entries were evaluated based on creativity, communicative effectiveness and potential impact on teens.

To learn more about the Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses campaign and watch the digital shorts, visit http://drivesmartnow.com/.

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About CTIA Wireless Foundation

CTIA Wireless Foundation (www.wirelessfoundation.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. Its innovative programs benefit consumers in areas including education, health, safety and the environment. The Foundation was formed by CTIA® member companies in 1991.

Twitter:    @WirelessFdn    

Press Contact:
CTIA Wireless Foundation: Amy Storey, [email protected], 202-736-3207

About By Kids For Kids

By Kids for Kids® (BKFK®) is an agency that empowers youth invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. BKFK provides a unique platform for kids and teens to develop and showcase their ideas, inventions, and entrepreneurship. The company provides free educational resources, including curricula and challenges that promote social change, product innovation, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn more: www.bkfk.com.

Press Contact:

BKFK: Judy Klym, [email protected], 203-921-9039