Our 2021 Scholarship Winner - Dale F. - Barry University - Read Essay »
Why You Shouldn't Drink and Drive?
June 10 2021 was the day that changed my life path forever. I was driving the speed limit on the interstate when I saw a car struck from behind by a drunk man that was speeding. His BAC level was nearly three times the legal limit and the crash resulted in both vehicles being totaled. It was a shock for me to find out that my uncle, Wayne was in the car that got hit from behind. The axle in uncle Wayne's car snapped in half, and the vehicle’s undercarriage dragged creating sparks on the interstate for several hundreds of feet. He remembers being horrified at the smell of burning rubber in his car. He survived the crash but had so many injuries. His memory, cognitive functioning, and personality were all impacted. He remembers looking at his body in the mirror and no longer recognizing who he was. He underwent months of physical therapy, and after rehabilitation returned to work. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. His education and professional attributes provided him with the required experience to excel as a mechanical engineer.
When uncle Wayne returned to work, he found that he could no longer perform the complex memory-driven cognitive tasks that his job required. He had to shift in a different direction in his life, and though devastated that he had to leave a career that he loved and worked endlessly for, he made a promise to himself, to use her story for others. “In every situation we have a choice, to stay a victim or become victorious despite all odds. I chose to be better, not bitter.”
The driver that made the choice to drink and drive and injured uncle Wayne, continued to make choices that harmed him. Before the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) results came back, he fled the state. The news was heartbreaking. As he continued to face new challenges head-on and find ways to embrace her hospital, the person that caused so much pain and suffering chose to flee his problems and not be accountable for his actions.
Uncle Wayne lived years thinking that the drunk driver would never be punished and that the criminal justice system was not looking for him or making the case a priority. He became his own advocate and it was through building relationships in the community that the Sheriff’s Department reached out to the State Attorney General and worked with other law enforcement agencies to extradite the offender and bring him back to the State of Florida. Five years after the crash, justice was served. Since the crash, uncle Wayne has become a professional speaker sharing his story of triumph through tragedy with thousands of people across Nigeria inspiring audiences to achieve their highest potential no matter what.
Uncle Wayne continues to deliver on his promise and inspires others. “I have come to own my hospital, I am determined not to be owned by it. My hospital has taken me in positive directions that I never would have gone. I found what most would have deemed obstacles have become opportunities for different kinds of success.” After many years passed the police arrested the man and sentenced him to 2 years in prison.
Dale F. - Barry University
The scholarship is online-only, please apply online and DO NOT CALL and DO NOT EMAIL US, all applications are received online through the form below.
Our $1,000 scholarship is intended to support one student who will help raise awareness on the deadly effects of teen DUI. The purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial assistance to students in their pursuit of higher education. If you or someone you care about has had their life impacted by DUI, we want to hear your story.
In 2018, for every 100,000 Americans, 3.3 people were killed in DUI accidents. For every 100,000 Americans under the age of 21, 1.1 teens died in DUI crashes. The numbers are higher for Florida. The number of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100k population was 3.3. (responsibility.org)
If a teen survives his or her first DUI and is arrested, the financial cost is staggering:
- The cost of the annual auto insurance increases over the following years.
- Those who have been detained are required to attend a DUI Program that also adds to the expenses.
- Towing and storage fees can amount to more than $100/day.
- He or she will have to pay fines, attorney fees, and DMV reinstatement fees.
A high school or college student charged with DUI will lose the driving license for a period, be on probation, and serve mandatory jail time. He or she may also face a disciplinary hearing at his/her high school or college.
We encourage you to apply to our scholarship program, online applications will be considered. Inspired by a personal story, tell us Why You Shouldn't Drink & Drive.
- What happens and what are the consequences when you drive while under the influence?
- Have you seen up close the consequences of a DUI offense?
- What are some good ways to tell if you or someone else is too drunk to drive?
- How can you stop a friend from driving while under the influence?
- What are the ways you can get home safely after a party?
- Is it safe to drive with a hangover?
- Who do you think influences the alcohol use and misuse of young adults?
- How does driving while under the influence affect the driver's family?
- Does your high school have an alcohol prevention program in place?
Submit your story in essay form (100–300 words). The scholarship is online-only, please apply online and DO NOT CALL and DO NOT EMAIL US, all applications are received online through the form below. We look forward to reading the essays and bestowing this scholarship.