North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Click it or Ticket Scholar Athlete Essay Contest Winner

CHAPEL HILL—Annie Qin of East Chapel Hill High School and Cameron Taylor of North Carolina School of Science & Math High School won top honors in the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click it or Ticket Scholar-Athlete essay contest. The Spring 2019 semester’s prompt was: How would you encourage your peers and the general public to wear their seatbelt? Winners were chosen blindly by a panel of judges from the North Carolina Department of Transportation and NCHSAA with criteria that included originality, content, organization, and grammar.

The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program was very impressed with all the essay responses they received. “There are several factors in the fight to end preventable roadway deaths; one of them is changing the culture and it starts with young minds like these,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We are elated that these young people have taken the charge not only to understand the importance of occupant protection but to use their young voices to lead the charge in spreading the message about buckling up. On the behalf of myself and the entire staff here at NCGHSP, we thank each contest applicant and each winner for their boldness in word and deed as we work together on this common goal of saving lives,” added Ezzell.

Qin is a sophomore at East Chapel Hill High School. She is a member of the Wildcats Swimming and Diving team. Qin wrote about creating a mental checklist when entering the car and taking the time to slow down and buckle up. To encourage others, Qin believes suggesting the use of a mental checklist will allow her fellow peers to decide for themselves, “which encourages them to lead.” “Slowing down is not equated to laziness and setbacks anymore,” said Qin. “Slowing down means being responsible and exercising caution.”

Cameron Taylor is a senior at North Carolina School of Science & Math High School. He plays for the Unicorn’s Men’s Soccer team. Taylor believes that schools should have students perform various experiments that display the need for seat belt usage and safety. Taylor emphasized that high school students are able to understand these types of experiments on a scientific level, but noted, “They will remember the experiment as they are active participants in carrying it out.” 

The scholar-athlete essay competition female runner-up was Kiana Venable, a senior student-athlete on the East Wake Academy cheerleading squad. The male runner-up for the NCHSAA scholar-athlete essay competition was a senior,two-sport athlete, Corbin May, from North Lenoir High School. May participates in both baseball and soccer for the Hawks. 

Congratulations to the winners of the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program Click it or Ticket and North Carolina High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete Essay Competition. Learn more about the scholar-athlete program here and look for the fall Scholar-Athlete Essay Competition in September 2019!