After carefully evaluating nearly 100 entries for this year’s scholarship essay contest, it was no easy task to select just one winner; we received many thoughtful answers to our essay question. In the end though, the essay we chose stood out due to the strong argument presented and high quality of writing.
Without further ado, we’d like to present to you the 2018 winning essay for the Enjuris Florida Drive Safe Scholarship Contest, submitted by Marquette University law student Pierson Furnish.
Thanks to everyone who applied and best wishes for the 2018-19 academic year!
Essay question: What’s the best advice you've received about driving safely and avoiding car accidents?
I never had an opportunity to meet my grandmother. My mother, about the same age as I am now, received a call one night saying that her mother had just passed away in a tragic car accident. This was the result of a drunk driver carelessly driving an eighteen-wheeler through a busy intersection, striking my grandmother’s vehicle. As devastating as this event was on mother’s life, she took away a positive. She had spoken with my grandmother the day prior after she brought a meal to my mom’s graduate school apartment. During this conversation, my mom discussed how thankful she was for the food and ended the brief exchange with saying how much she loved her.
As you can imagine, the loss of my grandmother had a serious impact on my mother. It has continued to be a point of focus regarding safe driving with our family. After receiving our licenses, my mother made an effort with me and my siblings to always share a quick “I love you” before heading out the door with the keys. Some may argue this is not advice about driving safely and avoiding accidents. However, I can safely say that throughout my high school years and during the summers I spent at home away from college, whenever I said those three words before running out the door, I held onto the steering wheel a little bit tighter. I buckled up. I made a point to not look at my cell phone. I never got behind the wheel after consuming a few drinks. I cared too much about those for whom I loved to let them down. This simple phrase helped remind me of that.
“After receiving our licenses, my mother made an effort with me and my siblings to always share a quick ‘I love you’ before heading out the door with the keys... Whenever I said those three words before running out the door, I held onto the steering wheel a little bit tighter. I buckled up. I made a point to not look at my cell phone. I never got behind the wheel after consuming a few drinks. I cared too much about those for whom I loved to let them down. This simple phrase helped remind me of that.”
We often forget that a car is a dangerous machine. We lose sight of the fact that when your car is traveling at 70 miles per hour, you are traveling at 70 miles per hour. The dangers are not limited to just the speeds you travel either. There are many more potential risks that arise the instant you sit in that driver’s seat. The best advice I ever received and could pass on to others, is to say “I love you” as often as they can before jumping behind the wheel. It is an excellent reminder for everyone to consider those whom they love and cherish. Whether it be to your spouse, children, parents, or any family member for that matter, not only will it brighten their day, but it will serve as a reminder to you that driving safely is important. Not just for your sake but for the sake of others, like someone’s grandmother.
About the author
Well done, Pierson — and best of luck in law school!
Be sure to check out the winner of our Enjuris 2018 Scholarship Contest.
Also, don’t forget to visit the Enjuris Scholarship page for our next essay contest (coming soon).