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Local teacher, students earn top awards for teen-related traffic crash and fatality prevention efforts

Local teacher, students earn top awards for teen-related traffic crash and fatality prevention efforts

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A Spotsylvania County homeschool group YOVASO club, a teacher at Walker–Grant Middle School and a graduate of Brooke Point High School were among the 22 award winners recognized during the annual Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety Awards Ceremony held in September via Facebook Live.

The awards ceremony was made possible by a grant from State Farm and other private donations. It honored the schools, students, teachers and law enforcement from across Virginia who demonstrated exemplary efforts during the 2019–20 school year to encourage safe driving and passenger safety among teenagers.

The New YOVASO Club of the Year Award recognized REACH Homeschool in Spotsylvania for its work to encourage safe teen driving and traffic safety during its first year as a YOVASO member.

The YOVASO Sponsor of the Year Award was presented to Jeanine Popescu of Walker–Grant Middle School in recognition of her ongoing support and guidance to the school’s traffic safety club and commitment to striving for excellence in club growth and development.

The Rock Star Award was presented to Tabitha Paulus of Brooke Point High School. This award is given 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.

“It is important to recognize our students, schools, youth groups and law enforcement for helping to save lives on Virginia’s highways,” said Mary King, YOVASO program manager. “Peer-to-peer programs are key to changing behavior and influencing safe drivers. We are proud and thankful for everyone’s dedication and hard work this past year to promote youth traffic safety.”

YOVASO is Virginia’s peer-to-peer education and leadership program for teen driver and passenger safety. YOVASO is a program of the Virginia State Police and is funded by a grant from the Virginia DMV. Membership in YOVASO is free and open to all Virginia high schools, middle schools, and youth groups. YOVASO currently has 78 active member schools.

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