Murrysville teen Heather Rose was named as the $5,000 runner-up of the 2015 Edgar Snyder & Associates "Words to be Heard" Scholarship Contest. The contest, in its 9th year, challenged Pennsylvania high school seniors to create projects to help fight underage drinking, drunk driving, or texting while driving.
Heather, a senior at Franklin Regional High School, created a time-lapse video capturing a series of hand-drawn sketches. The pictures tell the story of a proud mother who watches her son grow up, hitting each of his childhood milestones. It all comes to an abrupt end one night as she stays up waiting for him to come home, but he never does. The audience learns that her son was killed in a drunk driving accident.
"When I first created the project I wanted the audience to really connect to the mother as most of them may have children of their own," Heather said. "I wanted them to see that in the end, the boy who the audience has watched ‘grow up' would not have the same opportunities as his mother did."
Since its inception in 2007, the scholarship program has granted over $100,000 in scholarships. The law firm also sponsors additional safe driving initiatives, including the Edgar Snyder & Associates Save a Life Tour, which allows students at local schools to experience the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving using state-of-the-art simulators.
"At our law firm, we see firsthand the ways drunk driving and distracted driving can ruin lives," said Attorney Edgar Snyder. "That's why it's vital to encourage young people to use their passion and creativity in ways that raise awareness about these dangers."
It's vital to encourage young people to use their passion and creativity in ways that raise awareness about these dangersAttorney Edgar Snyder
Heather said this scholarship opportunity piqued her interest because it wasn't based on an essay or academic achievements. "Instead it allowed me to express myself in a unique way that most scholarships did not offer."
She plans to use her scholarship toward a degree in International Development and Globalization at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.
Heather's video was selected from over 200 entries submitted this year. A panel of community judges reviewed and voted on a selection of finalists at a luncheon held at the offices of Edgar Snyder & Associates. The panel included: Debra Iwaniec, President of the Trooper Iwaniec Memorial Foundation and Health & Physical Education Teacher at Yough High School; Trooper Robin M. Mungo, Public Relations Officer of the PA State Police, Troop B Pittsburgh; Brady Sheehan, Duquesne University Student and 2013 Words to be Heard Scholarship winner; Deputy Jason Tarap, Crime Prevention Specialist for the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office; and Chris Vitale MSN, RN, Injury Prevention Manager at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.
Two other students were also awarded scholarships. Emma Badams of Collegiate Academy in Erie won the grand prize of $10,000 and Katey Ladika of Forest Hills High School in Windber won $2,500. To view the winning entries and to learn more about the Edgar Snyder & Associates "Words to be Heard" Scholarship Contest click here.
Edgar Snyder & Associates is a plaintiff's personal injury law firm representing people hurt in all types of accidents. The firm also represents injured workers and people who are disabled and in need of Social Security disability benefits. Office locations include Pittsburgh, Altoona, Ebensburg, Erie and Johnstown, Pennsylvania.