Samuel Latt and Oscar Aguilar-Cruz heard the message loud and clear and hopefully their Huntington High School classmates did, too. The Class of 2016 members are this year’s recipients of the “It Can Wait” scholarship.
The Huntington High School Parent-Teacher-Student Association sponsored a week-long distracted driving awareness campaign in May. Many local businesses signed on in support of the organization’s efforts.
Jeffrey McAuley of Allstate Insurance in Patchogue was excited to participate in the initiative, which aims to educate students, teachers and parents on the perils of distracted driving, including texting and driving. Allstate Insurance sponsored the twin $500 awards presented to Messrs. Latt and Aguilar-Cruz.
The scholarship contest was open to graduating seniors. They were asked to submit a 500-1,000 word essay or a three to five minute film promoting the “It Can Wait” slogan and addressing a series of questions, including: Was the message “It Can Wait” and “Don’t Text and Drive” clear, and well thought out? What will the applicant do to help relay the message to his/her peers, family and community? What will the applicant do beyond high school (at the college level or workplace) to help spread the “It Can Wait” message to others?
Huntington's PTSA sought to drive home the It Can Wait message.
“Each student took the task to heart,” said parent Deborah Chin, who helped the PTSA stage the week-long event. “Both students have vowed to take the pledge not to text and drive. They both intend on spreading the lifesaving message about the dangers of distracted driving beyond their days at Huntington High School as they venture off to their perspective colleges.”
Mr. Aguilar-Cruz said he plans on “joining or creating a club in college about texting and driving.” He’s headed to Clarkson University to study civil engineering.
Mr. Latt plans to study statistics at Cornell University. He hopes to organize an informative gathering at Cornell, similar to the one at Huntington High School, which would warn college students of the dangers of texting and driving. “As technology advances and becomes more frequently used, it is imperative that we use it wisely and safely,” he said.
“The Huntington High School PTSA would like to thank everyone who participated and most importantly wish that the entire Huntington community will take the pledge not to text and drive and to spread to the word to others that ‘It Can Wait,’” Mrs. Chin said.