Hometown schools, teachers, students earn awards for traffic safety awareness efforts
(WDBJ) - The annual Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO) Awards Banquet spotlighted the Liberty and Jefferson Forest high school YOVASO clubs Saturday with multiple winners at James Madison University.
A Liberty High School teacher and two students from Jefferson Forest were also among those honored. Northside High School and a Life Counselor at the school were also given recognition.
YOVASO is the Commonwealth’s peer-to-peer education and prevention program promoting teen driver safety. It is a program of the Virginia State Police and has been around since 2001, working with schools and youth groups to improve safety.
List of spotlighted local winners:
“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.”
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