HARRISONBURG, Va. – The Liberty and Jefferson Forest high school YOVASO clubs were among the 15 award winners recognized during the annual Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) Awards Banquet held Saturday night, July 16, at James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, Va. A Liberty High School teacher was also recognized, as well as two students from Jefferson Forest High School. From Roanoke Co., Northside High School was recognized, as well as a Life Counselor at the school.
Lt. Col. Matthew D. Hanley, Bureau of Field Operations Director for the Virginia State Police, joined YOVASO with honoring the schools, students, teachers, and law enforcement from across Virginia who demonstrated exemplary efforts during the 2018-2019 school year to encourage safe driving and passenger safety among teenagers. The theme for the 2019 awards ceremony was “A Night with the Stars: Honoring Leaders for Safe Teen Driving” to celebrate Virginia’s outstanding traffic safety advocates.
- Rock Star Award: Emma Ogden, Jefferson Forest High School (Bedford Co.) In recognition of a student who demonstrates enthusiasm and excitement in his/her school and community for promoting safe teen driving and passenger safety. This student is a champion for the cause and a vocal role model within the school and community.
- Youth Leadership Award: Payton Poindexter, Jefferson Forest High School (Bedford Co.) In recognition of a YOVASO Youth Advisory Council (YAC) student who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills and a commitment to working on safe teen driving and youth traffic safety programs at the local and state level. The student leads and takes an active role with his/her school club, with YAC, and with the Summer Leadership Retreat.
- YOVASO Club of the Year: Liberty High School (Bedford Co.) In recognition of a member club for establishing and setting the standard for best practices in peer-led youth traffic safety programs. Award recognizes excellence in student leadership and club development, community outreach, engagement of the student body, effectiveness of programming, and participation in YOVASO campaigns and retreats
- YOVASO Sponsor of the Year (Teacher Advisor): Ben Thurman, Liberty High School (Bedford Co.) In recognition of a teacher’s ongoing support and guidance to the school’s traffic safety club and commitment to striving for excellence in club growth and development.
- Distracted Driving Prevention Award: Northside High School (Roanoke Co.) In recognition of a member club’s outstanding programs to prevent distracted driving among young drivers. Award may recognize one exceptional program or a body of work.
- New YOVASO Sponsor of the Year (Teacher Advisor): Kierra Gilbert, Northside High School (Roanoke Co.) In recognition of a teacher’s outstanding support and guidance to the school’s traffic safety club during the teacher’s first year as advisor for the club.