Every pledge cast from today through Oct. 26 is a step closer to Cleveland High School taking home $100,000 through State Farm’s Celebrate My Drive campaign.
More than 3,500 schools across the country are signed up to compete. Leading schools within the top 10 will each receive a $100,000 grant. Schools placing in the subsequent 11-90 spots will each receive $25,000 in grants. Two schools will win the grand prize of a Kelly Clarkson concert.
The campaign is focused on having as many people as possible commit to safe driving habits.
Criminal Justice teacher Cheri Carroll-Morgan said the pledge process is open to the entire community.
Those interested in participating can cast one vote per day during the weeklong campaign. According to State Farm, there are three options available for making a daily commitment:
- Visit www.celebratemydrive.com and make your commitment in support of the list of schools provided.
- Visit www.facebook.com/ CelebrateMyDrive and click on the “Make a Commitment” tab and make your commitment in support of the list of schools provided.
- Visit www.facebook.com/prettylittleliars and click on the “Celebrate My Drive” tab and make your commitment in support of the list of schools provided.
According to the campaign’s official website, “[CMD] is a chance for communities to rally around young drivers and encourage them to make safe driving choices every time they’re behind the wheel.”
The top 10 schools must spend 10 percent, or $10,000, of the grand prize grants on driving distraction education.
Students in Carroll-Morgan’s Criminal Justice 3 class have already promised their peers Raider gear as a possibility for the 10 percent. Brainstorming ideas are already underway for how to spend the potential $90,000.
The teacher has created a wish list for the Criminal Justice program.
“We are going to equip this room. I would love to have a whole new cart of computers,” she said. “I would love my students who have to check out parking to have a decked-out golf cart with ‘Criminal Justice’ on the side.”
Another dream consists of replacing the assortment of tables and chairs with a wooden mock courtroom.
“I want students to either fall in love with law enforcement or the court system,” Carroll-Morgan said. “When they are here, I want them to get involved and decide whether this is what they are going to do.”
She added, “I have seen that light bulb go on, especially when they are being lawyers, and that is when I get chills.”
Criminal Justice 3 student Eva Wilhelm would like to see the program expand. She said too many people take the class for fun without a desire to pursue law enforcement. Wilhelm supported her teacher’s golf cart suggestion and added a fingerprinting machine to the wish list.
Matthew Harris, fellow Criminal Justice 3 student, is an aspiring lawyer who is interested in seeing the class take more field trips.
The addition of $90,000 to the Criminal Justice budget could mean all types of benefits. Specifically, the program would be taken to the next level.
Carroll-Morgan said she has seen the difference law enforcement can make in an individual’s life.
“You can make a difference, and you can change a person’s life one at a time, every day,” she said. “If you can change their lives now, maybe they will never reach the point where they are getting arrested or abusing a child.”
She would like to see her students either fall in love with the field and choose to pursue a career or get out. Both options are fine with the educator.
More information on Celebrate My Drive can be found at www.celebratemydrive.com.