Courageous Persuaders Honors High School Students with Over $27,000 in Scholarships and Awards at Upcoming Celebration

TROY, Mich.April 22, 2016 — The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Education Foundation announced today that tickets are still available for its 2016 Courageous Persuaders Video Competition Awards Celebration which will be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, Michigan. The Courageous Persuaders Video Competition, now in its 16th year, recognizes high school students that take a creative approach to educate fellow students on the dangers of underage drinking and the dangers of texting while driving. This year, Courageous Persuaders will give away over $28,000 in scholarships and awards.

“Supporting initiatives that positively impact the lives of young adults is a key focus of the DADA,” said Ryan LaFontaine, president, DADA. “As a father of young children, the messages Courageous Persuaders’ participants create on the dangers of underage drinking and distracted driving is close to my heart.”

Tickets for the event, which is open to the public, are $25 for adults and $20 for 18 and under, can be purchased at the door. Huel Perkins, noted WJBK FOX2 Detroit television personality will be the emcee for the event and will be joined on the stage by many notable Michigan executives and dignitaries, including Captain Monica YeshMichigan State Police.

Courageous Persuaders is a competition-based scholarship program that invites high school students to create a 30-second television commercial about the dangers of underage drinking or the dangers of texting while driving. The commercials are targeted toward middle school-aged children, with the winning entries aired on television and via streaming video on The Michigan Department of State, led by Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, will also show the winning commercials in select Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) branch offices.

The public has the chance to view all finalist commercials and vote for their favorite until May 1, 2016. The school that produced the commercial with the most “likes” will receive $2,500 and the student/team that created that commercial will receive a $1,000 scholarship. Steps to vote are as follows:
Step 1: Go to the Courageous Persuaders® YouTube Channel
Step 2: Make sure you’re signed in to vote.
Step 3: Click “like” to vote for your favorite commercial.

Winning entries are eligible for the following scholarship awards:
Dangers of Underage Drinking and Driving:

  • Grand Prize: $3,000
  • First Place: $2,000
  • Second Place: $1,000
  • Third Place: $500

Dangers of Texting While Driving:

  • First Place: $2,000
  • Second Place: $1,000
  • Third Place: $500

Additionally, Courageous Persuaders partners present:

  • Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) Award: $4,000DADA, the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation, will also provide a $2,000 scholarship on the dangers of underage drinking and a $2,000 scholarship on the dangers of texting while driving.
  • State Farm Fan Favorite Award: $3,500Determined through independent votes of videos posted on a dedicated YouTube channel, a $2,500 cash prize will be presented to the classroom of the school that produced the video that garners the most votes, and a $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to the student.
  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Scholarship: $3,000Two $1,500 Michigan-based scholarships are donated by Lindsey’s father, Michael, her sisters, Allie and Mary Cianciolo and friends of Michael. Lindsey died on January 5, 2005 at the age of 20 in a motor vehicle accident which was largely caused by underage drinking.
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award: $2,000The Adcraft Club award is presented to the student(s) whose commercial best conveys factual information about the dangers of alcohol use.
  • Michelin Award: $2,000. The Michelin Award is presented to the student whose video commercial best illustrates the dangers of underage drinking and its effects on driving.
  • AutoTrader Award: $2,000. AutoTrader is proud to support Courageous Persuaders and its focus on educating and informing today’s youth on the dangers of underage drinking and driving with a $2,000 scholarship.
  • State Farm Insurance: $1,000State Farm will select the winning commercial based on persuasiveness and creativity on the dangers of underage drinking and driving.
  • Michigan Film & Digital Media Scholarship: $1,000. New this year! The Michigan Film & Digital Media Scholarship, a new Courageous Persuaders sponsor through its DADA Education Foundation, will provide a $1,000 scholarship on the dangers of underage drinking or dangers of texting while driving.
  • College for Creative Studies (CCS) Award: $250The CCS award is chosen based on the cognition, creativity, and craftsmanship of the commercial.
  • Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Courageous Leader Award. The WSJ Courageous Leader Award is presented to a teacher for his or her extraordinary support of the Courageous Persuaders program.

Winners are selected after several rounds of judging starting with a panel from the DADA that views the entries and identifies the top 60 finalists during the first round. Those entries are then reviewed by students at middle schools, who complete questionnaires to determine the final winners for each category.

State Farm, a long-time partner, will feature its driving simulator, staffed by deputies from the Michigan Sheriff’s Association. The driving simulator will give participants the experience of driving drunk and the negative side effects involved.

To view the 2015 winning commercials or for information about the competition and upcoming awards celebration, visit

About the DADA Education Foundation
The mission of the DADA Education Foundation is to promote excellence in education through quality programs and leadership.

About Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA)
The DADA was founded in 1907 by 17 local car dealers, and has grown to more than 220 member car and truck dealers who donate their time and resources to a host of community activities. Currently, the DADA members collectively employ more than 16,500 people. Many members participate in the NAIAS, LLC, which is responsible for the production of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS). To find out more about Detroit Auto Dealers Association, visit To find out more about the NAIAS, visit

SOURCE DADA Education Foundation