FALFURRIAS, Texas — The Texas Department of Transportation is encouraging students to be safe during their last days of school by awarding mini-grants to Texas high schools that continue to promote alcohol free end-of-year celebrations.
The grants are given to schools that compete in Project Celebration, a competition open to juniors and seniors. The school is only allowed to submit one, two-minute Public Service Announcement video with the theme being 'impaired driving'.
Falfurrias High School won in their region, earning their senior class $2,000. On January 31, they took third place in the state, winning an additional $6,000.
"We thought we could put something together like that to do that. Because you know it's about teen drinking and driving or texting or careless decisions you know things like that,"said Imelda Cantu, theatre director.
"I don't like the idea of people drinking and driving because they're not only risk their own life but someone else's," said Jolynn Martinez, junior at Falfurrias High School.
The group decided to use real stories in their PSA that the community could relate to.
"This could happen at any moment to anyone close around you. So it's always like 'hey don't make the wrong decision' and always think straight," said high school junior David Chapa.
"It is an issue within our country, not just the state of Texas. And its something that needs to be talked about as much," said senior Diego Vela.
High school junior Aylin Rodriguez Valadez said, "people need to stop drinking and driving because you know, you gotta think about other people too."
So what is Project Celebration?
Its organized by educators, parents and community members to help keep students safe and alcohol free throughout the school year, but especially during graduation season. The prize money will go towards a safe project celebration night for the graduating seniors this year.
Falfurrias High School senior Hailey Hofstetter said their PSA was not just a message to their graduating class and future generations.
"But also a tribute that we haven't forgotten their stories, that we haven't forgotten who they are, and they will always will be remembered by our community and everyone else who comes to this school."
You can watch Falfurrias High School's winning PSA below.
Falfurrias High School seniors graduate this May.
Ingleside High School also submitted a PSA. You can watch theirs here: