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Driv'n and "Stayin' Alive": High School Students from Memphis, TN-Area Win Grand Prize in Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

Silver Spring, MD (April 28, 2017)

Just got your driver's license? Can't wait to floor it? Wait — two Memphis-area teens have a grand-prize winning video message about how to "Stay Alive While You Drive."  High school sophomores Emi Otsuki (age 15) and Summer Knowles (age 14) sung all the right safety notes with a PSA tune to warn their driving-age peers about the dangers of distracted driving. Today Toyota and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced that the Faith Heritage Christian Academy students in Millington, TN won the grand prize in the Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge for their video "Stay Alive While You Drive."  View their video here.

Now in its sixth year, the TeenDrive365 challenge invites teens across the country to create public service video announcements to inspire their friends and peers to drive without distraction. Emi and Summer's video uses catchy song lyrics to describe distractions "as the enemy" faced by teens behind the wheel. "Turn down that radio / Keep focused mind / Tell your friends to quiet down / And suddenly you will Find / You're a great driver, you drive safe," part of the PSA goes.  The teens will receive $15,000 and will collaborate with a Discovery film crew to reshoot their video into a TV-ready PSA to air on a variety of Discovery networks.

"We were impressed by Emi and Summer's lighthearted, yet clear message on distracted driving," said Mike Goss, general manager, Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. "Their original song gets in your head and reminds you to drive safely.  We're excited to help spread the 'staying alive' message to teens nationwide."

"Emi's and Summer's driver safety video has made us incredibly proud," said Terry Wade, associate headmaster, Faith Heritage Christian Academy, Millington TN. "Their PSA is a message for our community, and for communities around the country, about how to stay safe: don't text, put your seat belt on, focus on the road, and quiet down!"

Emi and Summer's video was chosen by a panel of judges at Toyota and Discovery Education from nearly 1,500 submissions. The other winners include:

  • Second Place and People's Choice: Gabe Hostetler, student at Robbinsdale Armstrong High School in Plymouth, Minnesota will receive $10,000 for coming in second place. Hostetler's video was also voted the People's Choice winner and will receive an additional $5,000, and a behind-the-scenes trip to a live taping of a Velocity network show for his video, "One Decision."
  • Third Place: William Thomason, a student at Atlanta Public School's North Atlanta High School in Atlanta, GA will receive $7,500 for "Building Safe Drivers."

The additional six finalists will receive $2,500, and four regional winners will receive $1,000. Their videos can be viewed here.

"We applaud this year's grand prize winners Emi and Summer for their memorable peer-to-peer PSA to engage teens in driver safety conversations," said Lori McFarling, senior vice president, Discovery Education.  "Discovery Education strongly believes in creating digital learning environments that support students as they navigate life behind the wheel and we are proud to partner with Toyota in this effort to amplify driver safety messages in school and across selected Discovery networks."

The challenge is part of Toyota TeenDrive365 (www.TeenDrive365.com), a comprehensive initiative to increase awareness for teens and parent on safe driving. Building on the programs Toyota has offered for more than a decade, it offers a collection of online tools, events, expert advice and tips as well as social media elements.  

About Toyota
Toyota (NYSE: TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. and North America for 60 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. During that time, Toyota has created a tremendous value chain as our teams have contributed to world-class design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 46,000 people (more than 36,000 in the U.S.).  Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.7 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today.

Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society's most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.  

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications, the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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