BISMARCK, N.D. – Three students involved with SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) at Bismarck’s Century High School earned top honors in the 2017 SADD National Distracted Driving Video and Meme Contest sponsored by End Distracted Driving. Chloe Lambrecht, Adam Foerderer and Jacob Ochs submitted six pop-culture-inspired images/graphics that can be shared online, known as memes, to the contest with assistance of Century’s SADD adviser, Laurie Foerderer. One of their entries took the top honor, which included a $5,000 prize for their SADD chapter as well as tickets to a 2017 concert of their choice, compliments of RD Music & Marketing, Atlanta. In total, the contest received 170 individual entries from more than 500 students representing 18 states.
Lambrecht’s, Foerderer’s and Ochs’ winning meme design is a visual representation of how a variety of distractions can take a driver’s focus off the road and surrounding traffic. The meme shows a view of the North Dakota prairie through the window of a vehicle with the side mirror filled with representations of various distractions, such as music, phone apps, text messaging and more. Obscured behind those distractions is a semi-truck approaching the vehicle.
“When you think about distracted driving, you think of texting” said Jacob Ochs, “but you don’t realize your friends can distract you by being rowdy or it can be the radio in your car. It’s not just your phone.”
The students’ inspiration came from not only what they’ve learned through their involvement in SADD, but also through real-life experiences. “We were heading to a national competition in 2016 and on a five-lane highway, we saw so many people looking down. One person was even steering with their knees and using both hands to text,” said Adam Foerderer.
Century’s SADD chapter has given each student a way to help make healthier decisions in their own lives as well as be support for friends and fellow students. “I joined SADD because growing up I watched people around me do things that weren’t respectable,” said Chloe Lambrecht. “A member of SADD at that time was a huge mentor for me and had a positive voice to follow.”
Being a positive force within their school is a top priority for members. They lead several types of outreach events throughout the year, all with positive goals and messaging, to hopefully reach a variety of students from all walks of life or facing different situations.
“It’s hard to see kids make bad choices, and I want to help them see there are other options,” said Adam Foerderer.
Echoing those sentiments, Adviser Laurie Foerderer, said, “We all wanted the meme to make a positive impact on others. The money we won from the contest that three kids entered allowed us to bring in special programming to Century where over 400 kids were eager to participate. It also allowed us to off-set costs to bring chapter members to our SADD national conference this year. Together, all the things we do help reach people in different ways.”
SADD is a national organization whose mission it is to empower young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them throughout their daily lives. To learn more, visit www.sadd.org.
The core mission of End Distracted Driving is to preserve life and promote safety on a large scale through advocacy, education, and action. To learn more, visit www.endDD.org.
Photos upon request