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Teen Winners In Bridgestone’s “Teens Drive Smart” Video Contest


Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers

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The votes are in and the winners of this year’s Bridgestone “Teens Drive Smart” video contest include teens hailing from Georgia, Illinois and Florida – all with a deep interest in getting out the message about the dangers of distracted driving.

Contestants were also vying for a total of $50,000 in scholarships: a $25,000 scholarship top prize, plus $15,000 for second, and $10,000 for third place.

A total of 18,000 votes resulted in the following top three place winners, along with a Critics’ Choice winner (also from Florida).

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Param Bodiwala

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Param Bodiwala

Param Bodiwala – 1st place

This fall, Param Bodiwala, from Norcross, Georgia will attend Georgia Institute of Technology, majoring in engineering and with a minor in film studies. Taking a somewhat unorthodox approach to his video, Param reversed society’s negative perception of teen driving, while keeping the message clear to teens. Param noted that he did so because this generation of teens is the first and only with “such remarkable technology where friends are at their fingertips and social media at their palms.” They’re also “plagued by irresponsible and impulsive decisions.” His message fosters motivation and a call to action. “I made it clear that teenagers are great drivers,” said Param. “Now, let’s prove it.”

In addition to the $25,000 scholarship, Param’s video, “A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers” airs on the MTV Jumbotron in New York City’s Times Square during August.

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Joshua Chitwood

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Joshua Chitwood

Joshua Chitwood – 2nd place

Growing up in Carni, Illinois, Joshua Chitwood always had a creative yen, making comic books when he was younger and serving as co-editor on the yearbook staff his senior year in high school. Hoping to attend North Central University in Minneapolis, Minnesota to study media communications, Joshua said he really needed this scholarship, but he also wanted “to get Dakota’s story out to the world,” and to reach “fellow teenage drivers and influence them to drive safe” through his video “August 19.”

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Miguel Arango

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Miguel Arango

Miguel Arango – 3rd place

Seventeen-year-old Miguel Arango of Miami attends the AAA Dual Enrollment program at Florida International University (FIU). This means he’s finishing his last two years of high school and first two years of college simultaneously. An ardent piano player, Miguel plans to continue his studies in music at FIU’s School of Music. In his video entry, “Learn Early, Drive Safe,” Miguel said his intent was “reaching out to teens and children of all ages, working to help save lives, and raising global consciousness.”

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Mark Araya

Bridgestone Teens Drive Smart - Mark Araya

 

Mark Araya – Critics’ Choice

Currently studying advertising at the University of South Florida, Tampa native Mark Araya discovered an interest in graphic design and illustration during his first year there (he’s now a junior). Branching out into animation a year ago, Mark found he was also passionate about filmmaking. “My Distractions” is the first time he attempted to mix live shots with animated characters.

For his video, Mark took home a $2,500 cash prize.

 
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