CHAPEL HILL—Brooke Clark of Kings Mountain High School and Bryson Pleasant of Roxboro Community School won top honors in the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click It or Ticket Scholar-Athlete Essay Contest. The Fall 2019 semester’s prompt was: As a scholar-athlete, describe the misconceptions teens have about seat belt usage. As their peer, what are some practical ways you could encourage them to wear their seatbelt every time they get into a vehicle? Winners were chosen by a panel of judges from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program and NCHSAA with criteria that included originality, content, organization, and grammar.
“We are pleased to have received such inspiring and impactful submissions from students around the state,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Involving our youth in the discussion around seat belt usage is not only key to increasing awareness, but ultimately reducing crash-related injuries. We look forward to seeing how these young leaders will continue to shape our community and be advocates for ‘Click It or Ticket,’ and all traffic safety messages.”
Clark is a senior at Kings Mountain High School. She is a five-sport athlete participating in Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track & Field, Outdoor Track & Field and Swimming & Diving. Clark used her experience as a volunteer Firefighter to explain teens misconceptions about seatbelt usage stem from their belief of invincibility. She also believes teens are under-exposed to the true dangers of car accidents since accidents can occur from not only an inexperienced driver, but also other drivers on the road not abiding by the rules.
Pleasant is a senior Baseball, Basketball and Soccer student-athelte at Roxboro Community School. He explained the lessons learned and leadership developed through sports allows him to encourage his peers to wear their seat belt. He leads by example, always wearing his seat belt in his truck and not allowing passengers in his vehicle if they are not buckled up. Pleasant believes it is not just encouraging individuals to wear their seat belt that matters, but holding them accountable for their actions.
The scholar-athlete essay competition female runner-up was Winter Earnhardt, a senior cross-country, Track & Field and Swimming & Diving student-athlete from West Iredell High School. The male runner-up for the NCHSAA scholar-athlete essay competition was Blake Morris from Holly Springs High School where he participates in cross-country and tennis for the Golden 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 more programs and initiatives from the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Prorgram during the 2019-2020 year!