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Portland-area Student Wins Scholarship in Bridgestone Americas' Safety Scholars Teen Driver Video Contest - VIDEO

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Poignant video about safe driving may be used as national public service announcement

NASHVILLE, TN - August 27, 2009: Taking their cue from an eclectic range of inspirations, including rap videos, emotional personal stories and important topical issues, students from across the country grabbed their video cameras and got behind the lens to produce creative and compelling messages to hopefully save lives.

Now, four of these talented teenagers, including Zach King, a Portland-area native and a recent graduate of Wilsonville High School in West Linn, have been awarded college scholarships for their efforts.

Click PLAY to watch the top 4 award winning entries

Bridgestone Americas has announced the winners of its third annual Safety Scholars video contest, a national competition that is part of the company’s overall youth auto safety education efforts. In the competition, Safety Scholars entrants, who are between 16 and 21 years old, created short videos about auto safety and, new for this year, how to be more environmentally conscious when using a vehicle. Three grand prize winners were determined based on the number of votes they received on the contest Web site (; King was selected to receive a special Critics’ Choice award by a judging panel that reviewed contest submissions.

King, a film and music double major at Biola University outside of Los Angeles, Calif., drew from personal experience when he was searching for inspiration for his Safety Scholars submission. “I came up with the idea for my video because I had a friend that was involved in a car accident and ever since have wanted people to be aware about how dangerous driving can be,” he said. “This video portrays the importance of driving responsibly and safely.”

In King’s video, the characters are shown driving in a car, listening to loud music. The driver becomes distracted and swerves into oncoming traffic, causing a serious accident. It concludes with a simple yet powerful message: “Drive safe. Drive responsibly. Love life.” King’s video can be seen at

“For the past three years, Safety Scholars has proven to be one of the most effective ways for us to communicate our automotive safety message to teens,” said Christine Karbowiak, Executive Vice President, Community and Corporate Relations, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.

“These videos are so impactful. Last year’s Safety Scholars’ videos were used as public service announcements, airing more than 9,000 times and reaching more than 53 million people. This year we hope to reach even more viewers with the ultimate goal of making the roads safer for everyone.”

For his winning video, King receives a $2,500 college scholarship and a set of Bridgestone- or Firestone-brand tires. Additionally, his video may be used on television stations nationwide as part of a public service announcement campaign. These public service announcements are supported by Bridgestone Americas in cooperation with Driver’s Edge, a national non-profit organization which provides free classroom and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction for teens in cities across the United States.