2012 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest Wants You to Win $50,000 in College Scholarships

Teens Drive Smart Video Contest

Bridgestone recently opened up submissions for their 2012 Teens Drive Smart Video Contest. This contest gives students the chance to showcase their creative movie making skills, while trying to grab part of $50,000 in college scholarships Bridgestone is giving away.

The Teens Drive Smart Video Contest is looking for short automotive safety-themed videos, which encourages drivers to make good decisions behind the wheel. A good example for a theme would be “Don't text while driving.” (Something I am sure you don't do… right?)

Students who are between the ages 16-21 years old are eligible to enter. If you want to submit a video to be judged by Bridgestone the deadline is June 22nd, 2012.

After receiving the video submissions Bridgestone will have a panel of judges determine the Top 10 videos. These Top 10 will then be posted on Youtube, so the public can vote on on their favorites.  The three videos that receive the most votes will win the coveted scholarships; The Grand Prize winner will receive $25,000; second place receives $15,000 and third place receives $10,000. Not too bad if you ask me!

The scholarships are not the only prize in the competition. The Grand Prize winner will have their video air on the MTV Jumbotron in Times Square in New York City during August. Just try to imagine the awesomeness of your video up on a Jumbotron!

Also, the Top 10 Finalists of the contest will have the chance to have their video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States.  In addition they will receive a new set of four Bridgestone or Firestone branded tires.

If you are interested in submitting a video, keep in mind your submission should make viewers be more more safety-conscious when using their vehicles. In addition the video should effectively and creatively communicate the message you are trying to get across.  Last year's winner Amber Cullen won with her video, “The Phone Bandit.”  You can also view last prior's winners via Teens Drive Smart website to get a better idea of what you should do for your video.

Each year the videos get more creative, fun, and interesting. I assume this year's contest won't be any different.

I am not eligible for this contest, but if I were I would try to use something crazy and fun.  Like my talented singing dogs! (We even made an appearance on Anderson with Anderson Cooper at Lincoln Center! :))

Anyway, try to remember it’s not just about getting a scholarship for college but helping make people more aware of dangerous driving habits. Your video can potentially create safer drivers on our roads.

For more info and to submit a video visit: http://www.teensdrivesmart.com

TeensDriveSmart.com Road Show Rally Contest

Have you been trying to raise awareness at your school about safe driving habits?  Well then you might be interested in TeensDriveSmart.com Road Show Rally Contest.  What is the Road Show Rally?  The Rally is Teen's Drive Smart spin on a driving safety event.  It will include a road safety quiz game for the whole school, special guests, tire checks, and a $5000 grant for your school.

To enter you must create a video between 30 seconds – 2 minutes.  The videos do not need to be flashy, cinematic masterpieces but should show why your school deserves or is need of a driving safety event.  Maybe talk about some project your school has been working on to improve awareness or something you have been trying to get together yourself.  If your school has been unable to find a viable way to host an event themselves, explain why.  Express the desire and interest you or your school has for hosting the event.

Any students between the ages of 16-21 that attend a high school, college, university, community college, or trade school are eligible to enter.  Multiple entries from students from the same school are allowed!  Videos will be judged on a basis of three factors: creativity, poignancy, and need.  Once videos are uploaded they will be posted on Teens Drive Smart website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel.

Even if you don't win the Grand Prize Road Show Rally and $5,000 grant for your school, two runners up will receive $2,500.  So a total of $10,000 is up for grabs!  The money is for promoting and educating students on safe driving habits at those students respective schools.

The contest ends on October 7th, 2011 and the Winners will be announced on October 11th.  Get out those video cameras and make a video!

Bridgestone Launches New Website for Teen Drivers

Bridgestone has a new website for teen drivers, Teensdrivesmart.com. The focus is to educate by providing a comprehensive resource for young drivers. Resources are provided in the form of useful information, fun video games, informative videos, and a blog. However the site is not just for teenagers as there are great resources for parents and teachers as well.

Sometimes it can be hard for parents to think of the right things to say to the newly minted drivers in the family. The website helps with tips and advice. They have driving contracts for parents and teens. Fill these out and discuss the rules and limits when using the family vehicles. This is something a certain writer would definitely approve of… of course not when he was learning to drive.

The site has another great feature – teaching tools. Most schools don't offer driver ed's. But teachers and students do still talk about driving, and the site offers driving-focused lesson plans that teachers can use in high school and even middle school. The lessons can be easily integrated into instruction for many different subjects. If you are a teacher, check it out. Consider how to teach your students safe driving habits. Talking about driving should be a priority. This can save lives.

“With the website we provide all the information to make smart decisions. There are more distractions than ever,” says Angela Patterson Sikes, who manages teen driver safety initiatives for Bridgestone. Texting; cell phones; music: other teens – are all potential co-pilots with teen drivers, and all can be lethal. Sikes, who also writes for the site's “Driver's Seat Blog,” says the site offers tips on how teens (and adults) can handle those distractions.

“Teenagers are new drivers which is a great opportunity to learn good habits.” says Sikes. “We think safety is everyone's responsibility. We try to involve parents and teachers to get out the message.”

The blog, which encourages reader comments and an open forum, gives out this information in a conversational manner. Four young women are the primary contributors who connect to teens on their level, without talking down to them. “We want to put a face on the lessons we are trying to teach,” Sikes says.

The website is gaining traction. Miss America 2011, Teresa Scanlan, recently contributed with video messages chatting about the site.

If you sign-up to receive the newsletter you could win a $100 gas card. Check back for more information, contests, and great advice on teen driving.

Safety Scholars announces Winners!

Amber Cullen, 2011 Safety Scholars Grand Prize Winner

Three lucky people have won scholarships in Bridgestone's Safety Scholars video contest. Amber Cullen of Akron, Ohio, won the $10,000 grand prize for her video, “The Phone Bandit.” Two other people were also fortunate enough to win 5,000 scholarships, Robert Mai of Newport Beach, CA won second place and Everett, WA native Matthew Robertson won third place.

The three winners were chosen out of 1,466 entries from 16-21 year-olds across the United States and Canada (excluding Quebec) to become one of the 10 finalists. The top three finalist's won the most votes out of nearly 10,000 votes that were cast on Safety Scholars website to determine the winners. The other 7 finalist's are not empty-handed though. For their efforts they will be receiving a free set of Bridgestone brand tires, including the top three.

“Each year it's amazing to see how the quality of videos has progressed. This year we were especially pleased with what we got. They were really great messages that really resonated with teenagers,” said Angela Patterson Sikes, digital media coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas, who also manages the company's teen driver safety initiatives.

The three winners have the chance to have their video broadcast as a public service announcement (PSA) on TV stations across the US. Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver's Edge, an independent, non-profit hands-on safe driving course that's offered free of charge to teens in select U.S. cities. The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 27,000 times on TV and cable stations across the US. The 2011 PSA's will be aired on many more regional and national networks. Making this year's winners especially fortunate. The PSA's from this year's contest will be in distribution by Thanksgiving.

Congratulations to all the winners and the effort by all the participants.  I look forward to seeing just as amazing and creative videos next year.

To view the winning videos visit: http://www.safetyscholars.com/

Safety Scholars voting ends Today!

The Safety Scholars video contest voting ends today.  If you have not voted for you favorite video yet, please make sure to do so.  Remember you are not just voting for lucky students who will receive a $10,000 and $5,000 college scholarships, you are eligible to win a prize just for voting.

Part of the goal of Safety Scholars is to create messages on driving safety that are, “Coming from another teenager to another teenager.”  says Angela Patterson, digital media coordinator, for Bridgestone Americas.  I would say this is exactly what the participants in Safety Scholars have accomplished.  The videos are creative, thought provoking, and extremely well executed.  It was hard for me to choose my favorite among the videos.  Watch the videos and please try your best.

To vote visit:  http://www.safetyscholarsvideo.com/?/finalists#

My newest gig, writing for the College Driver

Hey everyone!  I was recently credentialed as a writer for a great website called the College Driver.  It's aimed at people under 25 with $25,000 or less to spend on their cars.   (Of course if you are older than 25 we won't discriminate and we welcome you to the website!)  My first article was on Bridgestone's Safety Scholars video contest, which I wrote about on this blog a few days ago.  On the College Driver I will be writing news, reviews, articles, and features.  I am very excited about this latest writing opportunity.  I am especially excited about doing vehicle reviews.  I hope you will read my work on there as well as this great blog.

Safety Scholars video contest, Voting has begun

The top ten finalists have been chosen in Bridgestone's Safety Scholars video contest.  That means you can now vote for your favorite video on driving and vehicle safety.

The videos have been posted on safetyscholars.com. The student whose video receives the most votes will win a $10,000 college scholarship.  The second and third place winners receive $5,000 college scholarships.  The top ten finalists will also receive a free set of Bridgestone tires for their car.

When you vote for your favorite video you are also eligible to receive a prize.  The prizes are a variety of Bridgestone products.  Voting ends July 29, so make sure to vote.  The grand prize winner and runner-ups will be announced August 1.

There were 1,466 entries submitted by 16- to 21-year-olds across the United States and Canada, up from last year's 1,373 entries.  Judges picked the finalists based on how well the videos made viewers think about being more safety-conscious drivers and how effectively and creatively they were able to convey their message.

“The passion and creativity displayed in these videos is so incredible that it makes the judges’ decisions very difficult.  Safety Scholars once again proves to be an innovative campaign that empowers young drivers and allows us to demonstrate our commitment to safety behind the wheel.”  said Angela Patterson, digital media coordinator, Community and Corporate Relations, for Bridgestone Americas, who also manages the company’s teen driver safety initiatives.

Even more rewarding than the scholarships, the grand prize winners videos might be used as a public service announcement (PSA) on TV stations all across the country.  Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a non-profit hands-on safe driving course that’s available free to 15-to 21-year-olds in US cities during the Summer.  The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 24,000 times on TV and cable stations across the United States.

The videos are all extremely well-done and very creative.  I have my own personal favorites, but I won't reveal which ones they are.  I will let you decide.

To vote please visit:  http://www.safetyscholarsvideo.com/?/finalists#

As well as receiving the scholarships the finalists will also get a free set of Bridgestone tires for their car.  The grand prize winners have the chance to have their video used as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations all across the country.  Bridgestone supports these in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a separate non-profit hands-on safe driving course that’s available free to 15-to 21-year-olds in US cities during the Summer. The 2010 Safety Scholars PSAs have aired more than 24,000 times on TV and cable stations across the United States.