Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration Recognizes High School Student-Produced Anti-Underage

Students Walk Aawy with $18,000 in Scholarships
By: Sandy Herp
June 1, 2011 - PRLog -- TROY, Michigan, June 1, 2011 – The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) awarded high school students who took a stand against underage drinking with $18,000 in scholarships at the annual Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration, featuring a red carpet arrival and hosted by renowned Detroit television personality Huel Perkins, anchor at WJBK Fox2. The awards celebration was held on May 19th at the Troy Marriott in Troy, Mich.

The DADA is the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program, which is facilitated through the DADA Education Foundation. “This was truly an inspirational event,” said Bob Shuman, DADA Vice President, who represented the DADA at the event. “It provides hope that our next generation will not only make positive lifestyle choices, but will inspire others to do the same.”

The competition, now in its 11th year, encourages high school students to create 30-second television commercials warning middle school students about the dangers of drinking alcohol. The contest drew 898 participants who submitted 514 video entries, which included thousands of students from schools throughout the U.S.

Student scholarships and award winners:

   Grand Prize, $3,000 – “That’s Not Cool” by Catrina Stoner, Dundee High School, Dundee, Mich.
   First Place, $1,500 – “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink” by Casey Rozelle, Lenawee ISD Tech Center, Adrian, Mich.
   Second Place, $1,000 – “Alcohol Doesn’t Fit” by Candice Everett, Stephenson High School, Stephenson, Mich.
   Third Place, $500 – “Best Friends Forever” by Alexandra Eastman, Hailey Thrasher, Alex McPherson, Dearborn High School, Dearborn, Mich.

In addition, special sponsored awards were presented to the following:

   Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Scholarship $3,000 – two $1,500 Michigan based scholarship winners: “Life in Reverse” by Morgan Lawrence, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Twp., Mich., and “Put That Drink Down” by Chelsea Washington, Camryn Washington, Home School, Southfield, Mich.
   Two DADA Awards for $1,000 each – contributed by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association: “Don’t Drink” by Jonathan D’Ambrosio, Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, Mich., and “1 in 3” by Evan Trout, Fishers High School, Fishers, Ind.
   New York festivals, $2,000 – chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness to inform and inspire: “Cheers” by Della Paul, Utica High School, Utica, Mich.
   Adcraft Club of Detroit Award, $2,000 – presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use in the most persuasive and creative manner: “Why Waste Your Life” by Reid Petro, Kalamazoo Christian High School, Kalamazoo, Mich.
   State Farm Insurance Award, $1,000 – chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness on the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and automobile usage: “You Know It’s Wrong” by Allison Otley, Angelique and Kara Payette, Janae Engels, Sarah Naegeli, and Alicia Carter, Coleman High School, Coleman, Wis.
   College for Creative Studies Award, a $250 Award and a portfolio or reel review – “Just Say No” by Neil Muck, Lenawee ISD Tech Center, Adrian, Mich.
   Wall Street Journal Award, $2,000 – chosen by the Wall Street Journal staff from among the most persuasive commercials, as judged by middle school students: “You Never Know” by Sean Mouton, Utica High School, Utica, Mich.
   Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award – presented to a special teacher for his or her extraordinary contribution to the Courageous Persuaders program: Troy Smith of Vicksburg High School, Vicksburg, Mich.

Winners were selected after several rounds of judging. During the first round, a panel, from the Detroit Auto Dealers Association viewed the entries and identified the top 60 contenders. Those entries were then reviewed by students at middle schools who completed questionnaires. Results of the questionnaires determined the winners.

“It showed me how people look up to you and you should be a good influence,” said a middle school student who judged the winning Grand Prize Award. “It also has a good perspective, it reminds viewers that they are the role models.”

The Courageous Persuaders program was created in 2000 by former Oakland County District Judge Michael A. Martone and John Barczyk, a local McCann-Erickson advertising executive (retired). In 2007, the DADA became the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation. This year’s entries continued to be strong, drawing from 38 states, demonstrating the continued interest in the program in all areas of the country.

In addition to the scholarship, the grand prize-winning student receives the opportunity to participate in a professional editing session to make the video broadcast ready. The commercial will be broadcast on television, and will be televised in branches of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. Winning videos will be posted on For additional information, please contact the Detroit Auto Dealers Association office at 248.643.0250.

About the DADA Education Foundation
dada education foundation logoThe mission of the DADA Education Foundation is to promote excellence in education through quality programs and leadership. In addition to the Courageous Persuaders program, the Foundation also administers Automotive Education Day at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS), the NAIAS Poster Contest, and coordinates the Automotive Youth Educational Systems in Michigan, an industry-wide program to enhance a student’s auto technician education.

About Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA)
Detroit Auto Dealers Association LogoThe DADA was founded in 1907 by 17 local car dealers, and has grown to more than 220 member car and truck dealers who donate their time and resources to a host of community activities. Currently, the DADA members collectively employ more than 16,500 people.

Many members participate in the NAIAS, LLC, which is responsible for the production of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). The most significant charitable venture of the DADA is the annual NAIAS Charity Preview, which has raised more than $44 million for children’s charities in southeastern Michigan since 1976. To find out more about Detroit Auto Dealers Association, visit To find out more about the North American International Auto Show, visit

Contact: Sandy Herp, Tel: (248) 283-5138,

Source: The Detroit Auto Dealers Association

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Source:Sandy Herp
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Tags:Classroom, Commercial, Competition, Courageous Persuaders, Dada, High School, Middle School, Naias, Scholarship, Students, Teen
Industry:Education, Society, Health
Location:Troy - Michigan - United States
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