SILVER SPRING, Md.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toyota and Discovery Education today announced that Ryan Johnston, a high school student from Corona, California, was chosen by the public in an online vote as the grand prize winner of the 2013 Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge. Now in its second year, the contest challenges teens across the country to create two-minute videos to inspire their friends to drive more safely and avoid distractions. The contest is part of Toyota Teen Driver, a joint education program by Toyota and Discovery Education, to help teen drivers stay safe.
Ryan’s video, which you can view at http://toyotateendriver.discoveryeducation.com/videos.cfm, takes a humorous look at what driving distractions may have looked like a hundred years ago, while also sending a serious message to teens of today about the importance of road safety. Ryan will receive a $15,000 scholarship and will work with a Discovery film crew to re-shoot his video as a professional, TV-ready PSA. On May 15, his video will be featured alongside star-studded celebrity PSAs on the web site for DoSomething.org’s Thumb Wars, an annual campaign, sponsored by Toyota, that empowers teens to take a stand against texting while driving.
Vineeth Mohan and Harrish Ratman, a team of two from Fresno, California, secured second place in the challenge and Miguel Arango from Miami, Florida, came in third. These students also will work with Discovery to re-shoot their videos.
“At Toyota, we are deeply committed to helping teen drivers stay safe so we are so pleased to award Ryan with the grand prize in this year’s Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge,” said Patricia Salas Pineda, group vice president, National Philanthropy and the Toyota USA Foundation. “We were impressed by all the video submissions this year, but Ryan’s stood out in particular for its humorous as well as its clever and memorable approach to educating other teens about the seriousness of distracted driving.”
“Discovery Education is thrilled to work alongside Toyota to reward Ryan for his outstanding video,” said Mary Rollins, Vice President of Discovery Education. “We know the content of his video will serve to start a larger conversation among teens, adults and educators about the overwhelming importance of safe driving practices.”
In addition to sponsoring the Video Challenge each year, Toyota Teen Driver provides educators, parents and students with free online resources to help teens to become safer drivers, including curriculum, parent coaching guides, and take-home activities to initiate important conversations about the life-changing choices that teens can make behind the wheel. For more information on Toyota Teen Driver, visit www.toyotateendriver.com.
As part of 10 years of teaching teens and parents about safe driving, Toyota will host its national teen driving skills workshop, Toyota Driving Expectations, in Torrance, Denver and San Antonio. The free, 2.5-hour programs will be held at the Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. headquarters for teens and their parents to learn together about defensive driving techniques, distracted driving and good choices. Registration is full in Torrance this weekend, but still open in Denver May 18-19 and San Antonio June 8-9 at www.toyotadrivingexpectations.com
The Toyota Teen Driver Video Challenge and Toyota Driving Expectations are just two of many initiatives by Toyota that are designed to help keep teens safe on the road. The Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center (www.toyota.com/csrc) works with leading North American Universities, hospitals, research institutions and agencies on research designed to better understand teen drivers’ risks and behaviors and identify effective recommendations to help keep them safe. Toyota also is hosting Arrive in Style (http://arriveinstyle.teenvogue.com), a safe driving campaign with Teen Vogue to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving among teenage girls and inspire them to make a mutual commitment with their mothers to drive safely.
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 31,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $19.5 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.
Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. To date, Toyota has contributed nearly $700 million to philanthropic programs in the United States.
For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit http://www.toyota.com/philanthropy.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations around the world to transform teaching and learning with innovative content and services that support educators and accelerate academic achievement. With a presence in over half of all US schools and in 50 countries around the world, Discovery Education fuels educational transformation with award-winning multimedia content including digital textbooks, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12 and community college instruction. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.