Creating Change with Project Yellow Light

By Nicole Anderson, Assistant Vice President, Citizenship and Sustainability and President of the AT&T Foundation; Ryan Luckey, Assistant Vice President, Corporate Brand Marketing

The mission of the It Can Wait program is clear- reduce distracted driving by educating all drivers about the dangers of smartphone use behind the wheel. It’s a goal shared by Project Yellow Light, a leading scholarship competition that calls for high school and college students to create a TV, radio or billboard PSA to help educate their peers about the dangers of distracted driving.

Established in 2007 by the family of Hunter Garner, Project Yellow Light seeks to honor Hunter’s memory after his death in a car crash at age 16. This year, AT&T’s It Can Wait program supported the competition for the first time with scholarships for the winning PSAs, provided with support from AT&T, as part of AT&T Aspire, its $500 million commitment since 2008 to education and skilling.

The competition also received a record-breaking 2,709 submissions this year, a dramatic increase over last year’s previous record of 1,600. Entries were received from students representing all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

The 2019 scholarship prizes were awarded in Times Square on June 7th to the following honorees:

  • Grand prize video – high school: Joshua Rodriguez, Dexavior Smith and Jenuo Eneral (Miami, Fla.)
  • Grand prize video – college: Marcus Marshall (Tuscaloosa, Ala.)
  • Second place video – high school: Riley Kvalheim (Winter Park, Fla.)
  • Second place video – college: Jamicah Moore (Macon, Ga.), Kade Freeman (Savannah, Ga.) and Christian Nieva-Devela (Oahu, HI)
  • Third place video – high school: Paetyn Monroe (Van Buren, Ark.)
  • Third place video – college: Holly Velie (Melbourne, Fla.)
  • Billboard design – high school: Sydni Silverstone (San Diego, Calif.)
  • Billboard design – college: Alyssa Loffredo (South Salem, N.Y.)
  • Radio – high school: Nathan Perkins (Bartlesville, Okla.)
  • Radio – college: Amanda Baird (Great Falls, Va.)

From sharing personal stories to creating clever reminders, the ingenuity of these students’ video, radio and billboard PSAs is of paramount importance to encourage their peers to speak up and remind all drivers to put their phones down when behind the wheel.

Our research shows that smartphone distracted driving has become more pervasive with nearly 9-in-10 admitting to doing it. AT&T praises the Project Yellow Light winners for using their talents to educate new generations of drivers and looks forward to continuing to support those who are working to confront this issue head-on.

Do your part to make our roads safer for all drivers by taking the pledge at ItCanWait.com and remember: please don’t drive distracted.