We at Patterson Law Group are pleased to thank the entrants of our Fall 2019 #TextFreeForTita Distracted Driving Scholarship Contest and to offer special congratulations to the winner, high school senior, Noah Hodge.
Noah is a very talented young man whose entry, a poem titled “Were They Worth It,” effectively illustrates the extreme danger posed by distracted driving. It points out the worst possible outcome that could happen when a driver ignores the importance of paying attention to the course ahead. We hope that, as Noah did when composing his poem, we will all remember to consider the high probability of a tragic outcome before doing anything that will take our focus away from the road each time we get behind the wheel.
Noah Hodge ranks 2nd of the 553 students in his class. He achieved a 4.0 GPA. A conscientious and civic-minded student, he is a member of many clubs and organizations, including the National Honor Society, National Hispanic Recognition Program, and the Literary Criticism UIL Team. He volunteers his services to multiple organizations, including the San Antonio Food Bank. Noah plans to attend the University of Texas in the fall.
The contest was created to honor Emma “Tita” Lourdes Shaffer, who lost her life in an accident caused by a distracted driver. Tita was a very thoughtful 6th grader with a bright future ahead of her. On April 9, 2016, she and her mother were driving home from dinner when their car was hit head-on by an oncoming vehicle.
The driver of the car that struck Tita and her mother was texting while driving. She was also a mother, with her young daughter as a passenger. Her lack of attention to the road caused her to veer from the southbound lane into the northbound lane, resulting in the head-on collision, which resulted in the tragic deaths of both mothers and daughters.
The #TextFreeForTita Distracted Driving Scholarship Contest was organized to create public awareness of the increasingly prolific danger of distracted driving. One in five traffic deaths in Texas is caused by a distracted driver.
The contest also offers a young person the opportunity to earn $1000.00 toward university or law school tuition or related educational expenses. To enter the contest, eligible students must complete the application for the Spring Semester Contest by May 31. December 31 is the deadline for consideration for the fall semester contest.
Entrants must employ their creativity by designing and sharing the impact of distracted driving and ways to reduce the number of deaths in the state of Texas, resulting from the problem. The entries can be in the form of video or multimedia works, written works (like poems), or photo or graphic creations.
Patterson Law Group wishes to encourage responsible driving habits for citizens of all ages. We are pleased to offer this award as another means of spreading the word of the danger of texting or performing any other action while driving and simultaneously providing an outstanding student the opportunity to earn assistance toward the cost of higher education.
Deaths due to distracted driving are, thankfully, preventable. Creative ways to educate everyone of the danger and prompt drivers to remember to put away their phones and anything that might take their attention from the road in front of them before starting their engine go a long way toward lessening and hopefully eliminating this hazard.
We appreciate the efforts of all of our contest entrants. If you know of a college-bound senior who may be eligible to enter, please direct them to the contest page on our website.
Congratulations again, Noah. We appreciate the time and thought that went into your winning poem, and it’s a much-needed message.