Distracted Driving: Project Yellow Light/Hunter Garner Scholarship

Hunter Garner - Distracted DrivingProject Yellow Light/Hunter Garner Scholarship was born from the tragedy of distracted driving. It got its start at a Fredericksburg, VA high school where Hunter Garner would have graduated had his life not been cut short.

PYL/HGS is a film contest educating the public on distracted driving. It receives 400- to 500 video submissions each year, and every applicant is one more person who is impacted by the message of distracted driving – and possibly one more saved from its deadly consequences.

Qualities of a Winning Submission

The best videos stand out; they are the ones that take a different approach and have universal appeal. Good production quality and message clarity are also critical factors.

After whittling down to around 30 semi-finalists for both the college and high school categories – reps from all the PYL partners – Mazda, Ad Council, NHTSA and NOYS – get together to review. It’s a great collaborative effort with everyone bringing something unique to the table. Before the day ends, the group of partners selects the finalists, after thoughtful review and consideration.

The Voting Begins!

The finalists’ submissions are packaged up and sent to a select group of judges from the worlds of advertising, racing, education and entertainment – each bringing their expertise to the process. Our judges this year included:

  • Hunter’s friends
  • Past participants in the contest
  • Advertising leaders: Jeff Goodby and Matt Williams
  • Global head of advertising for Coca-Cola, Wendy Clark
  • Head of the VCU Brandcenter, Helayne Spivak
  • Teen race car drivers and experts in the racing field
  • Global advocate for safe driving and film producer, Kweku Mandela
  • Recording artist, Aloe Blacc

An impressive list. The votes are tallied and the winners are selected!

Project Yellow Light/Hunter Garner Scholarship(Pictured: 1. Hunter & his high school friends, 2. Hunter’s parents, Lowell and Julie & Kweku Mandela, 3. Julie Garner & Aloe Blacc, 4. Hunter and Logan)

Scholarship Winners

Project Yellow Light/Hunter Garner Scholarship awards six total scholarships (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) for both high school and college students. View all winner’s videos here.

  1. 1st Place -$5,000 scholarship, plus video turned into a PSA by the Ad Council and distributed to over 1,700 TV stations nationwide for a full year’s worth or airplay.
  2. 2nd Place – $2,000 scholarship, video featured on site and other social outlets.
  3. 3rd Place – $1,000 scholarship, video featured on site and other social outlets.

Here is the video of the 2014 High School Scholarship:

Here is the video of the 2014 College Scholarship:

Stay up to date on the latest from Project Yellow Light/ Hunter Garner Scholarship! You can also check out their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

What have you done to spread the word about distracted driving? Share your stories with us in the comment section below!