WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 17, 2012) - Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), along with Presenting Sponsor State Farm®, is announcing today that Centreville High School Junior Melissa Stegner has been chosen to be one of 10 students from across the nation to be a part of MADD’s first-ever Power of You(th)™ National Teen Influencer Group. The teen was selected based on her efforts to stop underage drinking at her school and in her community.
“Melissa turned a personal tragedy into a cause for the greater good,” said Centreville High School principal Mike Campbell when hearing of Stegner’s selection. “She has worked tirelessly to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving to the Centreville High community. Her enthusiasm and passion to spread the word about drunk driving will be an asset to the entire nation.”
Stegner lost her father and brother in December 2007, when a repeat drunk driving offender hit their car head on. Melissa was 13 years old at the time of the crash. Two years later, she began volunteering for MADD, speaking about the dangers of drinking and driving. Recognizing that the younger a person starts using alcohol the more likely they are to become a drunk driver, she then made it her mission to stop underage drinking in her community. Last fall, she started Centreville High School’s SADD Chapter. Once the chapter was established she then started a publicity blitz and gained a tremendous amount of student interest. She will now lend her expertise to MADD and State Farm through the Power of You(th)™ program.
“State Farm is proud to team up with MADD for Power of Yout(th) because we believe the biggest and best change comes from within young people themselves,” said Amy Preddy, State Farm Public Affairs. “Together, these teens will have the power to motivate their peers and spark positive change.”
Teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year more than all other illegal drugs combined. To address this epidemic, MADD and State Farm have established the first National Teen Influencer Group, which includes these 10 outstanding teens. In June, the teens will attend a National Teen Influencer Summit, which will focus on how best to educate teens across the country to take a stand against underage drinking. This elite group of teens will provide their insight on creation of an underage drinking prevention initiative that saves lives and empowers young people to make a difference in their community.
“It’s truly inspiring to see such passion and enthusiasm among these 10 young people,” said MADD National President Jan Withers. “MADD hopes to work with these teens to harness the Power of You(th) and motivate teens around the country to take a stand against underage drinking.”
To learn more about MADD and State Farm’s Power of You(th) program, visit www.madd.org/powerofyouth.
Amy Preddy, State Farm Insurance Media Relations Specialist, (434) 872-521
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