Student Winners Announced for 8th Annual "Project Yellow Light" Scholarship Contestto Promote Dangers of Texting and Driving

WASHINGTON, June 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Ad Council and Project Yellow Light announced the winners of the eighth annual Project Yellow Light scholarship competition. The contest calls for students to create a TV, radio or billboard PSA to educate their peers about the dangers of distracted driving, including the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. The winning PSAs will be revealed today on a digital billboard in New York City's Times Square, in space donated by Clear Channel Outdoor.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

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. According to the latest data, 3,166 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017, representing 8.5% of all crash fatalities that year.*

"We're so proud of all our winners, all those who took part in this year's competition and everyone taking an active role to encourage safe driving among their peers," said Julie Garner, founder of Project Yellow Light. "Thank you to our amazing partners helping us advance our mission to save lives." 

Since 2011, Project Yellow Light has partnered with the Ad Council to turn the winning submissions into PSAs that receive national exposure through 1,600 TV stations nationwide, iHeartMedia radio stations, and Clear Channel Outdoor's hundreds of printed billboards and over 1,200 digital billboards.

This year, AT&T's It Can Wait and Apparent Insurance and Elephant Insurance are supporting the initiative for the first time, joining longstanding partners CBS 2 New York, Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO), iHeartMedia, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS). Scholarships for this year's winning students are provided with support from Aspire, AT&T's $500 million commitment to education and skilling, Apparent Insurance, Clear Channel Outdoor and Elephant Insurance. A special Snapchat filter, donated by Snap, will be available in Times Square during today's winner reveal event.

"We're thrilled that we've received a record number of submissions from every state across the country," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "Young people are passionate about using their creativity and voice to prevent distracted driving, and together with our fantastic partners we can support their lifesaving messages on a national scale."

The contest received a record-breaking 2,709 submissions this year, a dramatic increase over last year's previous record of 1,600 entries. Entries were received from students representing all fifty states and Washington, D.C. The 2019 scholarship prizes were awarded to the following student honorees:

  • Grand prize video – high school: Joshua Rodriguez, Dexavior Smith and Jenuo Eneral (Miami, Fla.)
  • Grand prize video – college: Marcus Marshall (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
  • Second place video – high school: Riley Kvalheim (Winter Park, Fla.)
  • Second place video – college: Jamicah Moore (Macon, Ga.), Kade Freeman (Savannah, Ga.) and Christian Nieva-Devela (Oahu, HI)  
  • Third place video – high school: Paetyn Monroe (Van Buren, Ark.)
  • Third place video – college: Holly Velie (Melbourne, Fla.)
  • Billboard design – high school: Sydni Silverstone (San Diego, Calif.)
  • Billboard design – college: Alyssa Loffredo (South Salem, N.Y.)
  • Radio – high school: Nathan Perkins (Bartlesville, Okla.)
  • Radio – college: Amanda Baird (Great Falls, Va.)

A host 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; DDB Worldwide CEO and Global President Wendy Clark; Wordsworth and 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, Apparent Insurance, AT&T's It Can Wait, CCO, Elephant Insurance and iHeartMedia.

Apparent Insurance Managing Director, Colleen Benzin stated:

"The high volume and incredible quality of impactful submissions received for the 2019 competition speaks to the importance of the work being done by Project Yellow Light and founder Julie Garner. The winning entries will, no doubt, reach students and their peers and motivate them to consider their safety on the road. We're proud to partner in the fight for safe driving."

AT&T AVP of Corporate Brand Marketing, Ryan Luckey stated:

"The main goal of the It Can Wait program is to end distracted driving by educating all drivers about the dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. We applaud this new generation's efforts to use their talents to further raise awareness around this important issue."

CBS 2 NY Emmy-winning journalist, Alex Denis stated:

"We all must work together to spread the message and hold each other accountable. This is as serious as it gets--saving lives. No one should suffer the loss of a loved one due to the senseless act of distracting driving."

Vice President of Communications of iHeartMedia, Jessica King stated:

"For the past three years, Project Yellow Light has delivered creative and impactful public service messages from talented and inspiring young people. This year's winners are no exception, and we are pleased to air 2019's winning messages across our national network of radio stations to remind our listeners of the dangers of texting and driving."

CEO of NOYS, April Rai stated:

"Distracted driving is such a critical issue for young drivers. The media assets created by youth for Project Yellow Light resonates so strongly with their peers and makes this program so powerful."

Through the Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks. campaign, the Ad Council and NHTSA have been working together to prevent distracted driving since 2012.

*Data Source:

The Ad Council
The Ad Council is a nonprofit organization with a rich history of marshaling volunteer talent from the advertising and media industries to deliver crucial messages to the American public. Having produced literally thousands of PSA campaigns addressing the most pressing social issues of the day, the Ad Council has affected, and continues to affect, tremendous positive change by raising awareness, inspiring action and saving lives. To learn more about the Ad Council and its campaigns, visit, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or view our PSAs on YouTube.

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a diversified, global leader in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and technology. It executes in the market under four operating units. WarnerMedia's HBO, Turner and Warner Bros. divisions are world leaders in creating premium content, operate one of the world's largest TV and film studios, and own a world-class library of entertainment. AT&T Communications provides more than 100 million U.S. consumers with entertainment and communications experiences across TV, mobile and broadband services. Plus, it serves nearly 3 million business customers with high-speed, highly secure connectivity and smart solutions. AT&T Latin America provides pay-TV services across 11 countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is the fastest growing wireless provider in Mexico, serving consumers and businesses. Xandr provides marketers with innovative and relevant advertising solutions for consumers around premium video content and digital advertising through its AppNexus platform.

AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc. Additional information is available at © 2019 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. AT&T, the Globe logo and other marks are trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks contained herein are the property of their respective owners.

Apparent Insurance
Apparent Insurance is making the lives of parents and families easier and safer by delivering a better auto insurance experience. Apparent's coverage protects families throughout life's stages with features, benefits, discounts, and services that are tailored to the lives of all parents. Fully backed and secured by parent company, Admiral Group, which oversees over 6 million customers across 7 countries, Apparent Insurance is currently available to consumers across the state of Texas, with additional states being announced soon.

Learn more about Apparent Insurance at and connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @ApparentInsurance.

CBS 2 New York
WCBS-TV, WLNY-TV and CBSN New York- a digital streaming service, are part of CBS Television Stations group, a division of CBS Corporation and one of the largest network-owned station groups in the country.

The combined strengths of CBS 2, WLNY 10/55 and CBSN New York provide a strong platform for serving the entire tri-state area.

Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings 
Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CCO) is one of the world's largest outdoor advertising companies with a diverse portfolio of 450,000 print and digital displays in 31 countries across Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America, reaching millions of people monthly. A growing digital platform includes over 13,500 digital displays in its international markets and more than 1,200 digital billboards across 28 markets in the U.S.

Comprised of two business divisions - Clear Channel International (CCI), covering markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America, and Clear Channel Outdoor Americas (CCOA), the U.S and Caribbean business division – CCO employs 5,600 people globally. More information is available at,  and 

Elephant Insurance
Founded in 2009 and headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Elephant is a direct-to-consumer insurance company offering auto, home, motorcycle, and life products to customers. Elephant prides itself on providing quality service and great prices. Like Apparent Insurance, Elephant is also owned by the Admiral Group. Elephant believes people who like what they do, do it better, and has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Richmond for the last five years, and was recently certified as a great workplace by the independent analysts at the Great Place to Work organization. To learn more about Elephant or to get an insurance quote, go to

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company's leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including 850 live broadcast stations; its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, smartphones, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc (PINK: IHRTQ). Visit for more company information.

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

For more than four decades, 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 safety belts and child safety seats; helping states and local communities address the threat of distracted, drunk and drug-impaired drivers; regulating 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

Project Yellow Light 
Project Yellow Light is a film, billboard and radio scholarship competition in which high school and college students create compelling stories persuading their peers to develop safe driving habits. This project gives students a voice and a role in preventing car crashes — the number one killer 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.






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