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Distracted Driving Scholarship (Kelsey's Law)


Stop Distracted Driving Contest


Finalists will be notified by October 1st and winners will be announced the week of October 22nd, 2018


The second annual Kelsey’s Law Distracted Driving Scholarship for Michigan high school juniors and seniors has launched. Kelsey Raffaele, 17, of Sault Ste. Marie, tragically died in a cell phone-related automobile crash in 2010. This scholarship has been created in her honor to inspire change in teens who drive distracted and help prevent car accidents.

Some startling facts from the Michigan State Police Traffic Crash Database:

  • 40,865 crashes with a driver age 15-19 in 2014 of which there were 69 fatalities and 479 serious injuries
  • Texting while driving increases your risk of crashing by 23 times
  • Car accidents are the No. 1 killer of teens


Using a cell phone and/or texting

Eating and drinking

Talking to passengers

Changing the radio station

Reading, including maps

Using a PDA or navigation system

Watching a video


In October, $5,000 worth of scholarships will be awarded to Michigan students. Applicants are asked to submit a persuasive message that shows how you would convince young drivers to reduce distractions while driving.

Messages may be in the form of a video, graphic or Tweet that resonates with teens and influences their driving behavior.

Entries will be judged and critiqued on the following factors:

  • Ability to persuade others, especially teen drivers, to stop texting while driving.
  • Ability to grab the attention of your friends, peers and family.
  • A clear and understandable message.
  • Demonstration of your personal creativity and ingenuity.

Types of Admissions Permitted

Youtube Video
(30 Seconds max)

(JPG, PNG or GIF files only)

(110 characters or less)

Award Amounts

  • Overall Best Submission: $2,000
  • Best Video Submission: $1,500
  • Best Graphic Submission: $1,000
  • Best Tweet Submission: $500

*Limit one type of submission per student.

Awards will be applied toward tuition at any university, college or technical school in the U.S. for higher education. Funds will be sent directly to the school within one year of the scholarship deadline.

Who may apply:

  • Open to 11th and 12th grade students (Class of 2018 and 2019) attending any public or private Michigan high school (finalists will be required to provide proof of enrollment with a student I.D. or transcript).
  • Applicant must be a Michigan resident with a valid Michigan driver’s license.
  • If under the age of 18 by October 1, 2018, a parental consent form must be signed by a parent or guardian if you are selected as a finalist.

The deadline for the 2018 Kelsey’s Law Scholarship has passed. We can no longer accept submissions for this year’s contest. Submissions for our 2019 scholarships will be accepted beginning October 22nd, 2018

Winners will be announced in mid October, 2018 to coincide with National Teen Driver Safety Week.