“Project Yellow Light” Scholarship Contest Announces a New Class of Student Winners to Raise Awareness of Dangers of Distracted Driving
Winning High School and College Students Will Have TV, Radio and Billboards Displayed Nationally
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 24, 2022 –– Today the Ad Council and Project Yellow Light announced the winners of the eleventh annual Project Yellow Light scholarship competition, a unique opportunity in which students create TV, radio and billboard PSAs to educate their peers about the dangers of distracted driving, specifically the dangers of using your mobile device while driving. The winning PSAs will be showcased this afternoon on a digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square, in space donated by Clear Channel Outdoor.
“We’re thrilled to announce the 2022 Hunter Garner Scholarship winners and recognize their outstanding contribution to our mission — to save lives by reducing the number of distracted driving crashes, said Project Yellow Light Founder, Julie Garner. “Thanks to their talent and our partners’ fire and energy we are making a difference.”
Project Yellow Light was established in 2007 by the family of Hunter Garner to honor his memory after his death in a car crash at age 16. In 2020, seven percent of drivers 15 to 19-years-old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.*
For over 10 years, Project Yellow Light and the Ad Council have collaborated to place the winning student PSAs on 1,800 TV stations, iHeartMedia radio stations, and Clear Channel Outdoor’s more than 1,500 digital displays across the U.S.
“No one can reach teens like their peers, and the message to stop distracted driving is an incredibly important one to share.” said Michelle Hillman, Ad Council Chief Campaign Development Officer. “The effort, passion and creativity demonstrated by the winning student’s is inspiring and at the very root of Project Yellow Light’s impact. We could not be more thrilled for this year’s student winners.”
Supporting partners include Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO), Elephant Insurance, iHeartMedia, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National 4-H Council, the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS), and WKRN-TV Nashville. Scholarships for this year’s winning students are supported through Clear Channel Outdoor and Elephant Insurance.
The contest received just under 1,900 submissions this year. Entries were received from students representing nearly all fifty states and Washington, D.C. The 2022 scholarship prizes were awarded to:
- Winning Formula (video, high school): Justin Hutcheson (Rockwall, TX)
- Eyes Up (video, college): Emiliano Diaz Capt (Akron, OH)
- Text or Drive (billboard design, high school): Isabella Kaake (Marlette, MI)
- Impossible Multitask (billboard design, college): Connor Avila (Mauldin, SC)
- School Drive (radio, high school): Noah Brechbill (Schwenksville, PA)
- Messages Unseen (radio, college): Asher Mitchell (Watford City, ND)
A number of advertising industry executives and artists lent their time to judging the entries. This year’s panel included recording artist and songwriter Aloe Blacc; renowned filmmaker and social activist Kweku Mandela; dentsu international Global CEO Wendy Clark; Wordsworth + Booth President Tony Mennuto; Co-Chairman and Partner of Goodby Silverstein & Partners Jeff Goodby; and representatives from the Martin Agency, Pereira O’Dell and Project Yellow Light partners the Ad Council, CCO, Elephant Insurance, iHeartMedia and National 4-H Council.
“Project Yellow Light gives students the unique opportunity to use their voice, creativity and the power of media to save lives,” said Dan Levi, EVP & CMO, Clear Channel Outdoor. “It is inspiring to welcome this new class of student winners by showcasing their lifesaving PSAs across our nationwide digital billboard network to help prevent distracted driving.”
“Elephant has truly valued our partnership with Project Yellow Light for the last four years, allowing us the opportunity to bring attention to distracted driving and make roads safer,” said Elephant Insurance CEO Alberto Schiavon. “Congratulations to this year’s winners for creating powerful messaging that will impact their peers and ultimately lead to safer roads for all of us.”
“Now in its seventh year, iHeart’s partnership with Project Yellow Light has never been more critical as more and more teens are driving with mobile devices – a known distraction on and off the road,” said Jessica King, Senior Vice President, Communications and Community Engagement at iHeartMedia. “We are once again offering our platform to deliver unique peer-to-peer messaging aimed at inspiring young people to think twice about reaching for their phones or engaging in other high-risk behaviors while driving. We believe this year’s student winners will save lives through their creative, witty and inspiring PSAs.”
“Sadly, it’s becoming more common for us to interview families who have lost a loved one due to a deadly distracted driving crash. The heartbreaking reality is, that these families would still be together if it weren’t for the senseless act,” said WKRN-TV Nashville Emmy-winning journalist Alex Denis. “Please, put the phone down. It’s not worth changing lives forever.”
Through the Stop Texts. Stop Wrecks. campaign, the Ad Council and NHTSA have been working together to prevent distracted driving since 2012.
Elephant Insurance is a customer-centric auto insurance carrier headquartered in Richmond, VA. Elephant provides auto insurance policies to consumers in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Elephant is a wholly owned subsidiary of Admiral Group, plc., a FTSE 100 company and one of the U.K.’s leading insurers with a presence in eight countries and millions of customers worldwide. Elephant is certified as a Great Place to Work®. To learn more, visit www.elephant.com
iHeartMedia, Inc. [Nasdaq: IHRT] is the leading audio media company in America, reaching over 90% of Americans every month, and has a portfolio of unmatched consumer brands and industry-leading events. iHeart’s broadcast radio assets alone have more consumer reach in the U.S. than any other media outlet; twice the reach of the next largest broadcast radio company; and over four times the ad-enabled reach of the largest digital only audio service. iHeart is the largest podcast publisher according to Podtrac, with more downloads than the next four podcast publishers combined; has the number one social footprint among audio players, with seven times more followers than the next audio media brand; and is the only fully integrated audio ad tech solution across broadcast, streaming and podcasts. The company continues to leverage its strong audience connection and unparalleled consumer reach to build new platforms, products and services. Visit iHeartMedia.com
for more company information.
For more than 50 years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has served as the key federal agency charged with improving safety on our nation’s roadways. As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, NHTSA is working to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries by promoting the use of seat belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities address the threat of distracted, drunk and drug-impaired drivers; regulating vehicle safety standards and investigating safety defects in motor vehicles; establishing and enforcing fuel economy standards; conducting research on driver behavior and traffic safety; and providing consumer information on issues ranging from child passenger safety to impaired driving. For more information visit www.nhtsa.gov
National Organizations for Youth Safety
NOYS was originally founded in 1995 as the Traffic Safety Collaboration supported by funding from government agencies, including the Department of Transportation. In 2005, NOYS became a 501(c)(3) organization and incorporated as National Organizations for Youth Safety. With over 100 organizational members – youth-serving nonprofits, businesses and government agencies, NOYS works collectively to address the most prevalent causes of injury and death among teens and young adults in the US. Learn more at www.NOYS.org
Project Yellow Light
Project Yellow Light is a scholarship competition where high school and college students create compelling PSAs persuading their peers to develop safe driving habits. This project gives students a voice and a role in preventing car crashes — one of the leading causes of death of teenagers and young adults in the U.S. Project Yellow Light was created by Julie, Lowell and Alex Garner in memory of their son/brother, Hunter, who died tragically in a car crash in 2007. Each year the winners receive the Hunter Garner Scholarship.
WKRN-TV Nashville and wkrn.com are part of Nexstar Media Group. Nexstar Media Group is America’s largest local television and media company with 200 full power stations in 116 markets and a growing digital media operation. WKRN-TV Nashville serves the Mid-state of Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.