2021 Scholarship Winner Teaches
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (April 6, 2021) — Shelby Michael, 19, of Thomasville, North Carolina, is winner of the spring 2021 national Johnson Attorneys Group Never Drink and Drive Scholarship.
“We were very impressed by Shelby’s essay,” said Attorney James Johnson, Founder of Johnson Attorneys Group. “She shows us that drunk drivers are not always strangers, but also how this affected her life.”
Our California law firm enlisted help choosing the winner from Patricia Rillera, California State Executive Director, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Rillera chose the winning essay from five finalists.
“Shelby did an excellent job articulating how drinking and driving has affected her and her family, and continues to do so,” Rilera said. “She was very brave to be able to discuss the very difficult disease that is alcoholism and how powerful of a hold it can have on your loved ones. Shelby continues to make it her goal to set a good example for herself, and family and wants everyone to know that drunk driving is not something you just hear about on TV, it has the ability to impact your children, family, and friends.”
Hundreds submitted essays from across the United States for the annual Never Drink and Drive Scholarship.
“All entries were very powerful and well-articulated—it was a difficult choice and I was very impressed!” Rilera said.
College Freshman Shares Moving Essay on How Drunk Driving Affected Her
Shelby’s essay shows us all the impact of parents who drink on their children. Her mother’s struggles with alcohol led to a non-injury collision. While her mother lost her driver’s license, worst of all, Shelby lost her relationship with her mother. Shelby did not want to make the same mistakes as her mother and points out that she will never drink.
“Never have I ever consumed a drop of alcohol and I have made it my goal to be a good example to my younger siblings, future children, and my future students,” Shelby said in her essay. “I have stepped out of my comfort zone these past few years and finally opened up about my story to my friends and have inspired others to not drink alcohol.”
Indeed, Shelby’s essay is inspiring and powerful. Sadly, we received dozens of entries from other students impacted by parents who drink and drive.
Please read Shelby Michael’s entire essay on our website.
Our Scholarship Winner Studying to be a History Teacher
Shelby Michael is a history major and freshman at Appalachian State University in the University Honors College.
“I’ve always looked up to my teachers throughout my time in school,” she said, adding that she particularly likes American history.
She chose the college because it’s in the mountains. She also likes that it’s just a couple of hours from her home in Thomasville where she lives with her father, step mother, two sisters and her brother. The school also awarded Shelby a scholarship.
During summer and winter breaks, Shelby works as a hostess at an upscale Southern food restaurant.
Shelby is also involved in the church ministry at her college.
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