For over 20 years, Hancock Injury Attorneys has been dedicated to protecting our community and making it a safer place to live by holding large insurance corporations accountable on behalf of our clients, many of whom have suffered serious injuries due to the negligence of others. These include traumatic brain injuries, and permanent injuries to their spinal cord, shoulders or knees.
In an effort to extend the idea of making communities safer, Hancock Injury Attorneys is encouraging students who want to strive to improve themselves by going to college and educating themselves to figure out how they will make their communities, and beyond a better place.
We know that to get to the point where you can make a positive impact, it takes a huge amount of hard work. Both attorneys Mike and Claire Hancock worked in part-time jobs throughout high school, college and law school to help pay for their education. Their work-ethic helped them get to the place they are today, successfully fighting for justice for their clients. In support of these students who have worked hard not only in school but also in a part-time job, Hancock Injury Attorneys is awarding a $1,000 scholarship annually.
2019 Scholarship Recipient: Owen W.
Owen will be attending the University of Central Florida this Fall and will be majoring in Film with a minor in Business. Owen’s essay and original “Mock” PSA about Texting and Driving stood-out amongst the many competitors! Watch the effective, and hilarious PSA Below!
Owen’s Winning Essay and “Mock PSA”
I am fortunate enough to say that myself nor anyone I know has ever been affected by a case of texting and driving. That, however, does not mean that the problem isn’t relevant. Within the past 15 years, the US has seen a major increase in consumer electronics, namely smartphones. When a product such as this changes society as instantly and drastically as the smartphone has, it can take time for the law to catch up. I am aware of efforts that have been made in the past few months in Florida that make texting and driving a primary offense, but I am also critical of them. The law is too susceptible to scrutiny, as the driver is informed of their right to not hand over their phone right before they are asked to do so. An easy way out for a criminal act like this makes any punishment more of a slap on the wrist than anything of weight. It is to my understanding that this law, pertaining to the state of Florida, must be revised to reflect the severity of an issue such as this.
The approach to ending texting and driving cannot be solved solely with the law. Tech companies such as Apple are making strides to give users the option to put their phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode, where they will not receive any notifications when their phone recognizes that the user is in the car. I find this to be a great idea and is certainly a realistic step in the right direction towards curbing texting and driving incidents. But one has to also recognize that not everyone will turn on this function in their phone, and of the 15 or more friends that I’ve been in a car with over the past year, I’ve only known one of them who opted to use this “Do Not Disturb” feature. I am admittedly not one of them. So, what other steps could be taken to curb texting and driving?
Because of my background in filmmaking and my desire to carry on with this career path well into my future, I see great potential in public service announcements and other media campaigns. This is also where I hope for my application to stand above the rest because I have made a mock PSA that I find to be funny enough to appeal to a younger generation yet with enough meaning to really stick with its viewer. I will include it in this email, and I strongly encourage the reader to watch it whenever you can. To tackle a digital problem like texting and driving, you must appeal to a digital audience. This can be done with social media campaigns, billboards, and announcements such as mine. These messages will reach their intended audience, and with enough repetition should really stick with the viewers. Think anti-smoking campaigns or even campaigns for dog adoption centers. These are ads that immediately call to mind detailed images and a call to action that are nationally recognized. Branding and repetition are the keys to getting a message across as serious as this one, and I would like to think that I have made at least the smallest dent in the problem by making my video.
In summation, curbing the epidemic of texting and driving has no one-step solution. It is a combination of governing laws, technological standards, and media campaigns that will help consumers understand the expectations of having a device with such great power to compute as well as distract. Users must know the dangers of texting while driving and face consequences if they do not adhere to certain standards. Of the same token, tech companies should be encouraged to apply safety systems that assist in the problems at hand as well. I appreciate the opportunity and hope you enjoy my sample video, and hopefully, with the right attitudes from all sides of this problem, the people can work to reduce the number of accidents that occur as a result of texting and driving.
- Applicants must be a student in good standing with a GPA of 3.0 or higher
- Seeking either an undergraduate degree or advanced degree at an accredited institution of higher education within the United States.
- Worked at a part-time job at some point during high school and/or college or anticipated need to work during undergraduate or graduate education.
- Be accepted to an institution of higher learning.
- Graduated from high school or graduating within 9 months or in lieu, have received GED or are receiving GED within 9 months.
- A two to four-year college student enrolled in a US-institution for undergraduate or graduate studies.
- Employees and vendors of Hancock Injury Attorneys and immediate family members are not eligible for this essay contest.
How to Apply:
Please include below in submissions via email only to firstname.lastname@example.org in .pdf, .doc, or .docx format only.
- Cover letter including name, address, phone number, email address, intended institution to be enrolled in, intended area of study and contact information for Bursars Office & Financial Aid Office. Please include 1-2 sentences about yourself. (What school, college or university you attend or plan to attend and your plans for the future, and what school you are attending now.)
- Official Transcript
- One to Two Page essay, 500-800 words on one of the following topics:
- How do you see the future of transportation in Florida?
- Distracted driving, specifically texting while driving is an increasing problem in Florida and around the country. What do you think will help curb this epidemic and why?
Scholarship Award Information, Dates & Deadlines (2019 Scholarship Closed):
- One scholarship in the amount of $1,000
- Submissions open: May 27, 2019
- Submissions close: August 4, 2019
- Winner contacted by: August 23, 2019
- The scholarship award will be dispersed directly to the financial aid office/bursars office of the university matching the student’s .edu email address.
- All items required for submission including cover letter, transcript and essay must be submitted at the same time, incomplete submissions will not be considered.
- Once we receive all items required for submission, within 1 week of receiving we will send a confirmation email to the email address provided to confirm eligibility. Please do not inquire on the status of your application until this time period has passed.
Terms & Conditions:
- All applicants agree that they consent to the use of their name and area of residence, as well to the use of their likeness (as in a photograph) and prize information.
- All applications submitted to Hancock Injury Attorneys in connection with this scholarship, along with all copyright, trademark and other proprietary rights associated therewith, become the property of Hancock Injury Attorneys upon submission.
- Application materials will not be returned to any applicant. By submitting an application, you acknowledge that if you win the scholarship contest, Hancock Injury Attorneys will own all rights to publish and promote the submission.
- Enrollment and qualifications will be verified with the university prior to disbursement; Hancock Injury Attorneys reserves the right to withhold the award if the applicant does not meet the qualifications at the time of disbursement