Students walk away with over $21,000 in scholarships and awards

TROY, MI, May 21, 2012 – The Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) hosted the annual Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration, at which high school students who took a stand against underage drinking won $21,250 in scholarships and awards. The event, which took place on Tuesday, May 15 at the Auburn Hills Marriott Centerpoint in Auburn Hills, Mich. was hosted by renowned Detroit television personality Huel Perkins, anchor at WJBK FOX2.

2012 Courageous Persuaders WinnersThe DADA is the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program, which is facilitated through the DADA Education Foundation. “In my second year of participation in this event, I continue to be amazed and inspired by these talented young people,” said Bob Shuman, DADA President. “They are certainly making a difference with this program, and it’s clear that they will continue to make a difference as they continue through life.”

The competition, now in its 12th year, encourages high school students to create 30-second television commercials warning middle school students about the dangers of drinking alcohol. The contest drew 1,026 participants who submitted 627 video entries, which included thousands of students from schools throughout the U.S. and beyond.

Two new awards were added this year, the Michelin Award, sponsored by Michelin, and the State Farm Fan Favorite Award from State Farm, selected by Courageous Persuaders fans from the Courageous Persuaders YouTube site. The winner was selected from among the 60 finalists, and the prize is awarded to the school where the video originated. The videos were viewed over 100,000 times.

Student scholarships and award winners:

  • Grand Prize, $3,000 – “Chloe and Kole’s Car Adventure” by Chelsea and Camryn Washington, Washington Home School, Southfield, Mich.
  • First Place, $1,500 – “New Product Infomercial – NO” by Grant Ogden, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Township, Mich.
  • Second Place, $1,000 – “Real Fun” by Robert Marrocco, Eisenhower High School, Shelby Township, Mich.
  • Third Place, $500 – “is it Really Worth It” by Tess Tuckerman, Lenawee ISD TECH Center, Adrian, Mich.

In addition, special sponsored awards were presented to the following:

  • Lindsey Renee Cianciolo Family Memorial Scholarship $3,000 – two $1,500 Michigan based scholarship winners: “Be Very Afraid” by Adam Atallah, Adam Bialeki, Utica Center for Science and Industry, Sterling Heights, Mich., and “You Choose Your Future” by Anna Dodd, Nicole Trudeau, Jake Tholen, Casey Haggerty, Howell High School, Howell, Mich.
  • DADA Award, $2,000 – contributed by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association: “Stay Alive” by Marissa Hastings, Forest Hills Eastern High School, Ada, Mich.
  • Michelin Award, $2,000 – “Some Things Can’t Be Changed” by Blake Grigsby, Neuqua Valley High School, Naperville, Ill.
  • Adcraft Club of Detroit Award, $2,000 – presented to the commercial that conveyed factual information about the dangers of alcohol use in the most persuasive and creative manner: “There Are No Second Chances” by Daniel Cooper, West Bloomfield High School, West Bloomfield, Mich.
  • State Farm Award, $1,000 – chosen based on the commercial’s effectiveness on the dangers and consequences of underage drinking and automobile usage: “Numbers” by Ashley Bartreau, Lake Orion High School, Lake Orion, Mich.
  • College for Creative Studies Award, a $250 Award and a portfolio or reel review – “Hands” by Nikita Mungarwadi, Clarenceville High School, Livonia, Mich.
  • Wall Street Journal Award, $2,000 – chosen by the Wall Street Journal staff from among the most persuasive commercials, as judged by middle school students: “Regret” by Dylan Malburg, Forest Hills Northern High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.
  • Wall Street Journal Courageous Leader Award – presented to a special teacher for his or her extraordinary contribution to the Courageous Persuaders program: John Bain of Union City High School, Union City, Mich.
  • State Farm Fan Favorite Award, $2,500 to the winning school – “Regret” from Forest Hills Northern High School, Grand Rapids, Mich.

The Courageous Persuaders program was created in 2000 by retired Oakland County District Judge Michael A. Martone and John Barczyk, a local McCann-Erickson advertising executive (retired). In 2007, the DADA became the primary sponsor and administrator of the Courageous Persuaders program through its DADA Education Foundation. This year’s entries continued to be strong, drawing from 41 states, Armed Forces Africa, Armed Forces Pacific and two Canadian Provinces, demonstrating the continued interest in the program.

In addition to the scholarship, the grand prize-winning student receives the opportunity to participate in a professional editing session to make the video broadcast ready. The commercial will be broadcast on the Courageous Persuaders Web site, on television, and will be televised in branches of the Michigan Secretary of State’s Office. For information, and to view the winning videos, go to .

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


About Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA)
Detroit Auto Dealers Association LogoThe 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

Contact: Sandy Herp, Tel: (248) 283-5138,

Source: The Detroit Auto Dealers Association
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