2018 Never Drink and Drive Scholarship Winner: Sau Pahulu

Sau Pahulu Named Winner of $1,000 Johnson Attorneys Group Scholarship

scholarship winner

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2018) —  Two years ago, Sau Pahulu’s parents were driving their brand new pickup truck in Long Beach when they were struck by a speeding drunk driver. The driver got out and fled the scene, leaving behind his passenger who lied and told them he was the one behind the wheel.

While they survived the impact with a few bruises and stitches, their truck was totaled. The impact had more than a physical or financial effect on their lives. Indeed, after that crash they have avoided driving through that same intersection.

“My parents are the lucky few who make it out of alive to see another day while others take their last
breath at the scene of the accident,” Pahulu said in her essay. “Thus, there needs to be more done and until the day when drunk driving is something of the past people will continue to pay for drunk driving with their lives physically, mentally, and emotionally.”

Pahulu uses the story about what happened to her parents, to make the point that “the reality of drunk driving is that you don’t have to be the one drinking to be affected by the consequences from a drunk driver.”

We are pleased to announce that Sau Pahulu is the winner of Johnson Attorneys Group’s 2018 Never Drink and Drive Scholarship. It is one of two scholarships our law firm gives out annually with contests ending in March and September.

Pahulu, who grew up in Long Beach, is a senior studying biochemistry at the University of Berkeley. After she graduates Berkeley, she plans to take a short break and travel to Europe. When she returns to California, it will be off to medical school to become a nephrologist. Meanwhile at Berkeley, Pahulu whose parents are both from Tonga in the South Pacific, is currently an active volunteer for Berkeley’s Indigenous and Native Coalition-Recruitment and Retention Center (INC-RRC).

“Young people like Sau are important players in the fight to end drunk driving,” said James Johnson, founder of Johnson Attorneys Group. “We wish her all the best in her studies and her new career as a doctor.”


The winning essay was selected as the winner by our friends at the Southern California office of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

“Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this wonderful scholarship opportunity,” said Patricia Rillera, MBA Regional Executive Director of MADD Southern California Region. “I think this is an amazing opportunity to get young people to start thinking about drinking/drugged driving.  While all the finalists were a good read, I found the most impactful essay was:  Sau Pahulu.  Runner up:  Brittany L. Evans.”

Indeed, we received dozens of heart-wrenching essays from college students and high school seniors from across the country who were asked to write an essay about how drunk driving has affected them or someone they know, why we should care it and how they would bring awareness to their community?

Please consider entering our 2019 Never Drink and Drive Scholarship competition. Submissions should be made by March 11th.




James Johnson

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