NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click it or Ticket Scholar-Athlete essay contest winners announced

CHAPEL HILL— Lauryn Taylor of Green Level High School and Hunter Epps of Southwestern Randolph High School won top honors in the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program Click it or Ticket Scholar-Athlete essay contest.

The Spring 2020 semester’s prompt was:

Explain how, as a student-athlete, you can encourage your peers to buckle up by using a social media platform. What is your message to your peers?

Winners were chosen blindly 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.

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, an essential one is changing 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 voices to lead spreading the message about buckling up. On 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,” added Ezzell.


Lauryn Taylor is a sophomore at Green Level High School where she participates on the Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Teams. She wrote about the power student-athletes have with their social media platforms to influence their peers.

“As student-athletes, we must utilize the privilege of having that ‘extra attention’ and lead by example. For starters, you should not be recording and driving,” Taylor said.


Hunter Epps is a junior at Southwestern Randolph High School. He plays for the Cougars Men’s Tennis team.

Epps suggests in his essay that to spread the Click It or Ticket message the most popular social media platforms should be used like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

 “Click It or Ticket should produce short fifteen to thirty-second videos that include catchy slogans, songs, and dances that not only promote wearing seat belts but also promotes students to recreate the video, share it with their followers in an effort to spread the word to the most number of people possible," Epps said.

The scholar-athlete essay competition female runner-up was Jordan Hulsey, a sophomore student-athlete on the Lee County High School volleyball team. The male runner-up was senior Kwesi Clarke from North Brunswick High School where he participates in Football, Basketball, Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field.

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 2020!