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Teen Journalists Use the Power of the Pen to Change Peer Attitudes When Driving


More than 400 high school students compete in national journalism contest focused on safe teen driving


Six high school teen journalists were selected as winners of the fifth annual Keep the Drive High School Journalism Awards from more than 400 entries, earning prizes totaling $7,500. The national award program, sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, is an annual creative writing and journalism competition that encourages teens to address the number one killer of teens in the U.S. – motor vehicle crashes.

Students were challenged to write and submit an original article published in the school newspaper, or write and produce a news segment aired within the high school. Entries were required to focus on a teen safe driving topic and the submissions covered such areas as seatbelt usage, distracted driving and drunk driving. Winners were selected with the help of Quill and Scroll, the international honorary society for high school journalists.

“When teens use their voices to speak out on a topic, like safe driving, they can have an unbelievable impact on their friends’ behavior,” said Vicky Dinges, vice president of corporate social responsibility at Allstate. “The message shared by these up-and-coming young journalists will help thousands of teens take note of the dangers they face on the road and make a commitment to be safer drivers.”

The winners of the 2013 Keep the Drive High School Journalism Awards are:

Broadcast winners

1st Place ($2,000 prize) – Cameron Quon, Saugus High School, Saugus, Calif.
2nd Place ($1,000 prize) – Milan Orescanin, Mehlville High School, St. Louis, Mo.
3rd Place ($750 prize) – Chris Conrady, Swartz Creek High School, Swartz Creek, Mich.

Print winners

1st Place ($2,000 prize) – Julie Waldow, Beverly Hills High School, Beverly Hills, Calif.
2nd Place ($1,000 prize) – Megan Eldridge, Owen Valley High School, Spencer, Ind.
3rd Place ($750 prize) – Regina O’Kelley, Aviation High School, Des Moines, Iowa

The Allstate Foundation provides a variety of resources for teens to learn more about staying safe on the road and raise awareness for smart driving among their peers.

Here are five ways everyone can be safer behind the wheel:

1. Wear a seat belt all the time.
2. Drive the speed limit.
3. Limit the number of passengers in the car.
4. Pull over to make a call or text a friend.
5. Never drive after drinking alcohol.

For more information about The Allstate Foundation’s teen safe driving programs and resources, visit,

About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Through partnerships with nonprofit organizations across the country, The Allstate Foundation brings the relationships, reputation and resources of Allstate to support innovative and lasting solutions that enhance people’s well-being and prosperity. With a focus on teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors, The Allstate Foundation also promotes safe and vital communities; tolerance, inclusion, and diversity; and economic empowerment. For more information, visit


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