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Clarion High School Senior Wins $5,000 Scholarship for Distracted Driving Project

Thursday, May 17, 2018 @ 12:05 AM

Posted by Michaela Williams

Madeline-HighResPITTSBURGH, Pa. – Edgar Snyder & Associates announced that Madeline McNamara, a Clarion High School senior, won second-place in the firm’s 12th annual “Words to Be Heard” scholarship contest.

The contest tasks graduating western and central Pennsylvania seniors with creating a presentation that would discourage their peers from dangerous driving behaviors.

Madeline won the organization’s $5,000 second-place award for her project, which was a program script designed to help engage high school students. The idea for her project sprang from a student council experience and involves an interactive program that could be implemented in high school classrooms. The message she wanted to share with her peers? That just one careless decision behind the wheel can impact several lives forever.

Madeline, who was inspired to enter the contest after learning that an alumna of her high school was a past winner, plans to attend Ohio University to study engineering.

Other winners include:

· Bridget Shelestak, who will graduate this year from Fox Chapel High School, won the grand prize for her video submission and will receive a $10,000 college scholarship. She will use the money to further her education while majoring in business. Her video, which tackled the dangers of texting and driving, was a team effort—a project that involved her siblings, parents, grandparents, and even the family dog.

· Natalie Drnjevich, a senior at Franklin Regional High School, won third-place for her video project. Natalie, who plans to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner, won $2,500 to help pay for her schooling. She said her sister, who operates her own YouTube channel, inspired her to create a “vlogger” video for her project—one that tackled the dangers of distracted driving.

Attorney Edgar Snyder, founder and of counsel, thanked the panel of independent judges and all those who submitted projects for contest consideration. He also lauded the winners.

“The winners of our scholarship contest are, to me, some of the most creative and thoughtful young people in western Pennsylvania,” Attorney Edgar Snyder said.

“Distracted driving and other unsafe driving behaviors have become almost an epidemic. I’m thankful to see the effort these students put into messages that could help drive change among their peers.”


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