Something to Celebrate

High school students throughout the U.S. took a stand against underage drinking and received $18,000 in scholarships as a result. 

The scholarships were presented by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) for participation in its Courageous Persuaders PSA Competition.  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 from 38 states who submitted 514 video entries, which included thousands of students from schools throughout the U.S.

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

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. Once production is complete you can watch for it on CW50 and it will be televised in branches of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office.

“This was truly an inspirational event,” said Bob Shuman, DADA Vice President. “It provides hope that our next generation will not only make positive lifestyle choices, but will inspire others to do the same.”

Congratulations to all the Student scholarships and award winners:

Courageous Persuaders Winners

Photo provided by Detroit Auto Dealers Association/Courageous Pursuaders

§ 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 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.

“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.”

Winning videos will be posted on For additional information, please contact the Detroit Auto Dealers Association office at 248.643.0250.

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


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