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Fox Chapel

Fox Chapel Area's Bridget Shelestak wins scholarship for distracted driving video

Tawnya Panizzi
| Tuesday, May 15, 2018, 1:03 p.m.

Fox Chapel Area senior Bridget Shelestak earned a $10,000 college scholarship as the grand prize winner of Edgar Snyder & Associates 12th annual “Words to Be Heard” contest.

Applicants were challenged to create a presentation that discourages teens from dangerous driving behaviors.

Shelestak's video tackled the risks of texting behind the wheel. It drives home the hazards of distracted driving with statistics that include 300,000 people being injured while texting and driving each year.

The oldest of six children, Shelestak said her video was a family effort that involved her siblings, parents, grandparents and even her dog. She said the money will provide some relief for college.

“I have worked really hard with my grades to make sure I got into the schools I wanted to get into, but then when you face the financial aspect of college it can be overwhelming,” she said. “I didn't want opportunities to fade.”

Second-place winner was Madeline McNamara, a Clarion High School senior; third-place went to Natalie Drnjevich, a senior at Franklin Regional High School.

Attorney Edgar Snyder in a release lauded the winners, saying they are “some of the most creative and thoughtful young people in western Pennsylvania.

“Distracted driving and other unsafe driving behaviors have become all too commonplace,” he said. “I'm thankful to see the effort these students put into messages that could help drive change among their peers.”

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or @tawnyatrib.

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