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Vote for USF student's video in Teens Drive Smart Contest | Community Spirit

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Vote for USF student's video in Teens Drive Smart Contest
Vote for USF student's video in Teens Drive Smart Contest

Nashville, Tennessee - Mark Araya, a student at the University of South Florida, hopes the public will help him win a $25,000 college scholarship in the Bridgestone Americas Teens Drive Smart Video Contest.

Araya is one of 10 contestants whose videos have been selected in the national scholarship competition. The contest challenges 16-to 21-year old students to create short videos about safe driving and ways to make better decisions behind the wheel. Araya's video was chosen from 2,322 entries received by Bridgestone Americas.

A panel of judges selected the top 10 most compelling videos, which were chosen based on how well they encourage viewers to be more safety-conscious drivers and how effectively and creatively the message is communicated.

All 10 videos, including Araya's, are now posted at TeensDriveSmart.com. The public can help determine the top three winners by voting online for their favorite video now through July 23. The three winners will receive college scholarships:

  • First place receives $25,000
  • Second place receives $15,000
  • Third place receives $10,000

All three will win trips to New York City, where the grand prize-winning video will be unveiled on Aug. 1.

In addition to the scholarship, the first place winner will have his or her video air on the MTV Jumbotron in Times Square in New York during the month of August.

Each Teens Drive Smart winner will also have the chance to have his or her video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States.

The advertising major's video, "My Distractions," takes a clever look at everyday distractions drivers are faced with on the road. Using animated characters, the driver reminds viewers, "I make sure I keep my distractions where they belong: off the road."

"I've been illustrating for a few years now and I loved making the characters for this film," said Araya. "So many videos out there focus on scare tactics so I thought it would be cool to use animation in something that wasn't quite so serious."

"Teens across the nation showed us their true breadth of talent, and choosing the top 10 videos proved difficult for our judges' panel," said Angela Patterson, Manager, Teens Drive Smart Program, Bridgestone Americas. "Our hope is that through these impactful videos, teens will understand the importance of making smart decisions behind the wheel. And just maybe, it will help save a life."

Visit www.teensdrivesmart.com for more information.

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