Congratulations to Shay Roth, 21, of Johnston, Pa., who is the latest recipient of the Sevenish Law Firm’s Students Against Drinking and Driving Scholarship. Shay is a junior at the University of Pittsburgh who is enrolled in an accelerated program to attain a Doctor of Pharmacy in four years.
Shay, along with the other scholarship applicants, responded to this prompt: Why do you think people continue to drink and drive despite the known dangers, and what can a young adult such as yourself do to persuade their peers not to drink and drive?
Public education around drinking and driving started in the 1980s, and the group most willing to listen were teens. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), fatalities from teen drivers drinking and driving dropped an astounding 43% between 1982 and 1995.
Still, drinking and driving is too prevalent among teens — one in 10 teens report that they drink and drive, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Shay’s recommendation for more prevention stems from an exercise at a neighboring high school. Many schools stage mock DUI accidents with students pretending to die in car crashes. But a neighboring school staged the event over 24 hours, the students who acted as victims disappeared and families gave devastating testimonials.
“Students feel compelled to drink as a result of wishing to fit in and be deemed ‘cool’ by their peers,” she wrote.
That rashness which is typical in teens is also coupled with inexperience as drivers. The CDC also reports that teens are three times more likely than more experienced drivers to be in a fatal crash.
Firm founder Randall Sevenish began this scholarship to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving among teens. As a police officer, and then a personal injury attorney, he is passionate about helping young people avoid this most preventable death.
Shay has received the $2,500 scholarship to help with her school costs. We are happy to reward students like Shay who are already working hard to pay for their education. She is a resident assistant at Pitt, as well as a licensed pharmaceutical intern at a city clinic. Her excellence and community commitment has already been recognized; she was named the Cambria County’s Outstanding Young Woman 2018. She was also a philanthropy intern at the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies.