Winner for 2015-2016:
Congratulations Darian Smith!
Today, Shift Insurance is proud to announce the first winner of its 2015-2016 scholarship program, which rewards a single full time college student with a total of $1,000 to put toward their higher educations. Thousands of current college students nationwide answered the call during the 2015-2016 Drive to Learn Scholarship Program, submitting essays of 750 to 1,000 words or more telling us about their experiences.
Darian Smith, who attends the Cypress City College, was voted to the head of the class by our esteemed panel of judges, winning the $1,000 top prize.
Winner for 2013-2014:
Congratulations Alyssa V. Bays Bonifacio!
Today, Shift Insurance is proud to announce the first winner of its 2013-2014 scholarship program, which rewards a single full time college student with a total of $1,000 to put toward their higher educations. Thousands of current college students nationwide answered the call during the 2013-2014 Drive to Learn Scholarship Program, submitting essays of 750 to 1,000 words or more telling us about their experiences.
Alyssa V. Bays Bonifacio, who attends the California State University Long Beach, was voted to the head of the class by our esteemed panel of judges, winning the $1,000 top prize.
You can read the winning essay below:
“Some of the best life-lessons are the ones we learn from our mistakes. Share a lesson you learned when facing the consequences of bad decision-making as a driver or a passenger. Describe the situation and explain how it led to a valuable learning experience.”
“I do not know when the bad habit started, but I have been texting and driving for a really long time. I always heard the warnings—listened to the radio commercials, watched the infomercials and even heard stories of friends of friends. This did not stop me; I was always in the mindset that it would not happen to me. This past fall semester, I was leaving school and was heading to the dentist appointment. I was at a stop light, browsing through Instagram. When I looked up, the light was green for me to go. Without even looking left or right to see if the coast was clear for me to go, I accelerated. The next thing I knew, I was slamming on my brakes because a car was directly in front of me. Apparently, the lady had run the red light and unfortunately, I ended up T-boning her. Thankfully, it was only subtle damage and no one was injured. The lady I hit was frazzled, as was I—but essentially, we had a minor accident. Afterwards, we pulled over to the side and exchanged information.
This definitely served as a valuable learning experience for me. Although the insurance ruled that it was the lady who I hit’s fault (due to her running the red light), I still cannot help but think back to me being on my phone. If I were not on my phone that day, would I have still looked to see if there were cars coming? Or would I have done the same thing? Would I have immediately accelerated because the light was green? What would have happened if there was no traffic at the next light and I pressed my foot harder on the gas? Would I have possibly killed someone or myself? These questions enter my mind quite often when I think back to the accident. I do not like to dwell on things. It happened and there is simply nothing I can do to change it. However, I can change the choices I make now and in the future. In fact, I have changed my bad habit of using my phone while driving after this incident. Trust me, it was a hard habit to kick; like they say, “Old habits die hard.” Growing up with our generation today, we are so accustomed to technology. We won’t go anywhere without our cell phones, and you do not realize how bad the problem is until you have a hands on bad experience. This is how bad I was: I’d leave the house with my phone in hand, sit down in the driver’s seat of my car, and wedge it right underneath my right leg. As I would be driving, it would be in my hand, and I’d be on almost every application you could think of. Everything from Instagram, Tinder, Facebook, checking my account with Wells Fargo or Bank of America, Snapchat, Safari, and can’t forget sending e-mails! I know there have been other instances too, where I remember thinking, “Oh my God, I almost hit that car.” You would think that these occurrences would set off warning bells in my head to stop. Well, the truth is that they did—I just did not listen. I did not listen to myself when I would think to myself, “You’re ridiculous. You need to put your phone down NOW.”
I make sure to place my phone inside of my bag before I get into the car now. Any last minute messages that I “must” send are sent prior to me getting into my car. I also put my phone on vibrate or silent so that I do not risk the temptation of reaching over and digging through my bag to find the phone and answer it. Whatever it is, it can wait. Now that I think about it, it is crazy how impulsive it was for me to constantly be on my phone while I was driving. I must say, I considered myself to be quite talented because I would type the fastest messages without looking down at the phone sometimes. I think that is another reason why it was so hard of a habit to kick, because I would think that technically I did not have to even be looking at the phone. However, I told myself that that was beside the point. My mind would be elsewhere; I should be focused because I am operating a vehicle that needs my full attention—not only for my safety, but for others as well. We just think we are so invincible when we are younger, and it is definitely not true. I am very thankful that nothing too terrible happened the day of my accident and that I did not hurt anyone. I would of never been able to forgive myself. It was a mistake that turned into a life lesson indeed, and I hope that I can set a better example for my younger brother and sister.”
Winner for 2014-2015:
Congratulations Benjamin Cheung!
Today, Shift Insurance is proud to announce the winner of the 2014-2015 scholarship program, which rewards a single full time college student with a total of $1,000 to put toward their higher educations.
Benjamin Cheung, who attends the University of Arizona, was voted to the head of the class by our esteemed panel of judges, winning the $1,000 top prize.
Winner for 2016-2017:
Enter the 2015-2016 term now for your chance to win!
Our company has already announced the 2015-2016 Drive to Learn Scholarship Program, which will once again run for the entire year until July 1, 2016. To read the new topic, as well as learn more about the eligibility/submission requirements, visit the Shift Insurance scholarship page.