TROY, Mich., May 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) hosted its annual Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration on Wednesday, May 3 at the Emagine Theater in Royal Oak, MI, where nearly $30,000 in scholarships and awards were granted to high school students. These courageous students took a stand to raise awareness amongst their peers on the dangers of underage drinking, drinking and driving and texting while driving.

“Encouraging and rewarding these bright young minds for taking a stand against everyday peer pressures is a key component of the Courageous Persuaders mission,” said Bill Golling, DADA President. “I’m proud of the work the DADA and our partners across the nation do on this amazing program and am confident that lives have been saved as a result of the messages conveyed in these powerful videos.”

Now in its 17th year, Courageous Persuaders is a competition where high school students create 30-second television commercials warning middle school students about the dangers of underage drinking, drinking and driving, and texting while driving. The contest drew 807 entries from 223 high schools, and has involved over 1,100 students from 38 states across the U.S. and from Canada. Courageous Persuaders continues to grow in scope and reach each year as it connects with more students and partners across the nation.

“Courageous Persuaders would not be possible if it were not for the gracious support and guidance from our partner companies,” said Rod Alberts, DADA Executive Director. “State Farm has been a longstanding supporter of the program, awarding $4,500 in scholarships this year alone, in addition to their program contributions that allow Courageous Persuaders to expand our national reach.”

Student scholarships and award winners:

  • Grand Prize, $3,000 – “Not Cool” by Jonathan Hulst and Lucas Howe, homeschooled in Holland, MI.
  • State Farm Fan Favorite Award, $2,500 (winning school) – Frederick V. Pankow Center, Clinton Township, MI and State Farm Fan Favorite Award, $1,000 (winning student) – “Who You Hurt” by Shane Verkest, Frederick V. Pankow Center, Clinton Township, MI.
  • First Place, Courageous Persuaders Award, $2,000, Dangers of Underage Drinking – “A Friend” by Liam Rogers and Nick Rose, Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, MI
  • AutoTrader Award, $2,000 – “The Alcohol Alternative” by Max Murphy, Brookline High School, Brookline, MA.
  • Michelin Award, $2,000 – “Juice” by Miguel Quicho, Bishop Amat Memorial High School, La Puente, CA.
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award, $2,000: presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use in the most persuasive and creative manner – “Bottle Return” by Kathleen Montroy, Rockford High School, Rockford, MI
  • Detroit Auto Dealers Assoc. Award, $2,000, Dangers of Underage Drinking – “Two Many Drinks” by David Mir, Dana Devereaux, Brandon Cowan and April Baray, Etiwanda High School, Etiwanda, CA.
  • Detroit Auto Dealers Assoc. Award, $2,000, Dangers of Texting While Driving – “How Texting While Driving Shattered My Life” by Alena Williams, Ellington High School, Ellington, CT.
  • Harold and Carolyn Robison Foundation Award – Dangers of Underage Drinking – “Great Choices Jack: Texting and Driving” by Will Baker, Careerline Tech Center, Holland, MI.
  • Friends of Linsey Renee Cianciolo Memorial Fund, $1,500 – “Doors of Opportunity” by Annalise Rabon, Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southeast, Royal Oak, MI.
  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Fund, $1,500 – “Filling Your Life” by Carson Tate, Careerline Tech Center, Holland, MI.
  • Second Place, $1,000, Courageous Persuaders Award, Dangers of Underage Drinking – “It’s a Big Deal” by Kristin Penrose, Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, MI.
  • Michigan Film and Digital Media Office Award, $1,000 – “Was it Worth it?” by Becca Messner, Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, MI.
  • State Farm Award, $1,000: chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness on the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and automobile usage – “Rewind” by Jacob Calgaro, Waukesha West High School, Waukesha, WI.
  • Third Place, $500, Courageous Persuaders Award, Dangers of Underage Drinking – It Can Wait” by Grace Novak, Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, MI.
  • Wall Street Journal – Courageous Leader Award – Mike Conrad, teacher at Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, MI.
  • College for Creative Studies Award, $250 – “Intervention” by Shane Vega and Shawn Blasko, Oakland Schools Technical Campus Southwest, Wixom, MI.

In addition to the scholarship, the grand prize winning student receives the opportunity to participate in a professional editing session to make the video broadcast ready by Pluto Post Productions. The commercial will be broadcast on the Courageous Persuaders website, on television, and will be televised in select branches of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. For more information on the program, and to view the winning videos, go to CourageousPersuaders.com.

The Courageous Persuaders program was created in 2000 by the late Oakland County District Judge Michael A. Martone and John Barczyk, a local McCann-Erickson advertising executive (retired).  In 2007, the DADA became the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation.

About the DADA Education Foundation 
The mission of the DADA Education Foundation is to promote excellence in education through quality programs and leadership. In addition to the Courageous Persuaders program, the Foundation also administers Automotive Education Day at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), and the NAIAS Poster Contest.

About Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) 
The DADA was founded in 1907 by 17 local car dealers, and has grown to over 200 member car and truck dealers who donate their time and resources to a host of community activities. Currently, the DADA members collectively employ more than 16,000 people.

Many members participate in the NAIAS, LLC, which is responsible for the production of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The most significant charitable venture of the DADA is the annual NAIAS Charity Preview, which has raised more than $106 million for children’s charities in southeastern Michigan since 1976, of which $41 million was raised in the last 10 years alone. To find out more about Detroit Auto Dealers Association, visit dada.org. To find out the latest about the North American International Auto Show, visit naias.com.            

SOURCE DADA Education Foundation