Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship

Scholarship Value: $3,000
Awards Available: 16

The Courageous Persuaders competition encourages high school students to create 30-second television commercials on the dangers of underage drinking and texting while driving. Middle school classrooms review and judge the videos, and help determine the scholarship winners. Participants learn how to create their own video, are honored at an awards celebration, and, most importantly, are making a difference in raising awareness and changing attitudes towards these dangerous issues facing young adults.

In 2007, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) and its Executive Director, Rod Alberts, officially adopted Courageous Persuaders and expanded it to a nationwide program. A special thanks to the late Judge Jim Martone and John Barcyk for coming up with the idea and proposing the opportunity to DADA to further develop.

In 2008, Michigan's Secretary of State (SOS) officially announced the SOS's partnership with Courageous Persuaders. For the past 10 years, top entries in the innovative Courageous Persuaders distractive driving campaign aimed at teens have won airtime in SOS offices across Michigan.

In 2018, the DADA received 632 video submissions from 917 high school participants representing 225 participating high schools from 40 different states including British Columbia. There were 1,100 middle school evaluators reviewing these videos. There were 29,312 YouTube views of these videos from April 1 – April 28. The 5 top geographic locations viewing were the United States, India, Canada, Germany and United Kingdom.

At the 2018 Courageous Persuaders Ceremony on May 2nd at Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, MI, 16 awards were presented along with over $30,000 in scholarships. The overall grand prize-winning commercial airs on Ch. 2 in Detroit as a public service announcement. This year, at our Courageous Persuaders "Academy Awards", there were over 250 students, faculty and parents in attendance to watch these amazing videos on the big screen and see the winners announced.


A) The 2021/2022 Courageous Persuaders Competition is open to Michigan high school students only.

B) Your commercial must be 30 seconds long or less, and your message must be about the dangers of underage drinking or the dangers of texting while driving. Students can enter separate videos in both categories. Middle School classrooms are your target audience. Videos will be judged on originality, creativity and persuasiveness.

C) There are two ways you may enter your commercial: (a) Upload video entry to the Internet (i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, or SchoolTube) along with the completion of the online entry form; or (b) you can mail the entry form and DVD to Courageous Persuaders, 1900 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 100, Troy MI 48084.

D) Video deadline is February 4, 2022. Your entry must either be submitted online or postmarked by this date.

E) More than one commercial may be submitted by one student.

F) Should your commercial be selected as a winning entry, please save all original work.

G) You may enter as an individual or as a team. All team members listed on the entry form must be a Michigan high school student, in grades 9-12 (ages 19 and under) and a United States or Canadian citizen attending a Michigan high school. Team members are decided by the team captain. Team members must be listed on the entry form.

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