Former West Texas A&M University student Allyson Ford continues to be remembered. She was killed a few years ago after she crashed her vehicle while texting. Her parents have since created a scholarship in her memory designed to help raise awareness about distracted driving.
Region 16 students are able to win that scholarship to WTAMU by creating a poster that helps raise awareness about distracted driving. A senior at Happy Independent School District was chosen as the winner. Pronews 7 is featuring his accomplishment in this week's Region 16 Spotlight on Education.
For drivers 15 to 19 years old, 21% of deadly crashes are due to use of cellphones. It's a statistic Allyson Fords family is hoping to change by offering seniors a chance to win a scholarship.
"The schools in Region 16 are asked to have students apply by doing a poster and in my senior class its called "Dollars and Cents". I require every single senior to do a poster," said Family and Consumer Science Teacher, Kathy Via.
Those posters are designed to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving.
"My poster shows the effects of texting and driving. You get distracted you're going to veer off to one side. You veer off to that one side you could have a head on collision. You may ruin someone else's life, it maybe another kid in that vehicle," said scholarship winner, Colton Lundegreen. "I put it together and thought there's kids out here texting and driving and I'm guilty of it myself I know I am. And I figured we'd do this, its something fun and they look at this and say hey that could be me, I don't want that to happen to me."
Lundegreen's poster was chosen as the winner. The prize is a $1,500 scholarship to attend WTAMU, which in a time when the cost of a college education is climbing, every bit of money helps.
"Education is going up to the point that students are getting out of school and they owe so much money they're spending their first 10 years paying back that four or five year education," said Lundegreen.
He said plans to attend WTAMU in the fall and will focus his education on Agriculture Business and Economics.