We are proud to announce the 2017 scholarship winners!

  • Judith Grace D’Amato – Robert C. Byrd High School
  • Alessandra Cava – Bridgeport High School
  • John Riley Tribble – Elkins High School
  • Chase Riggs – Notre Dame High School
  • Austin Edward Daniels – South Harrison High School

Check back in the fall for 2018 scholarship information.

About the Scholarship

The Colombo Law Stop Distracted Driving Scholarship Program was started in 2017 by Dino S. Colombo to give back to the community and help bring more attention to a problem that has taken far too many lives: distracted driving.

Stop Distracted Driving - Colombo Law

At any given moment in America, over 660,000 drivers are using handheld electronic devices while driving. According to the National Safety Council, this leads to over 1.6 million traffic accidents each year.

Sadly, many teens don’t think about the effect that distracted driving can have. They’ve grown up in a world consumed by hand-held technology. They’ve seen their parents text or make calls while driving, often with no consequences. In fact, 10 percent of all drivers between the ages of 15-19 who were involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the accident.

This younger generation has a unique opportunity to be the catalyst that ends distracted driving for good. Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship Program seeks to do this by asking high school seniors to write an essay about their experience with distracted driving in exchange for an opportunity to be awarded money to help them go to college. Read on to learn more about the scholarship program and how you can apply!

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to enter the Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship Program, you must meet all of the following criteria:

  • High school senior graduating in Spring 2017
  • Overall GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Currently attending one of the eligible high schools listed below
  • Follow all of the instructions given in “Essay Submission Rules”
  • Submit your essay by May 5th, 2017

Eligible Schools

The Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship is only available to students who will be attending a college or university located within the state of West Virginia.

  • Braxton County
  • Bridgeport
  • Buckhannon-Upshur
  • Clay-Battelle
  • Doddridge County
  • East Fairmont
  • Elkins
  • Fairmont Senior
  • Gilmer County
  • Grafton
  • Hundred
  • Lewis County
  • Liberty
  • Lincoln
  • Morgantown
  • North Marion
  • Notre Dame
  • Philip Barbour
  • Preston
  • Ritchie County
  • Robert C. Byrd High School
  • South Harrison
  • Trinity Christian
  • Tucker County
  • Tygarts Valley
  • Tyler Consolidated
  • University
  • Valley Wetzel
  • Webster County High School

Scholarship Award Information

The Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship Program will award five $2,000 scholarships to eligible high school seniors who meet the requirements of the program. See “Eligibility Criteria” and “Application Instructions” for further details.

Distribution Method

Scholarship winners will receive a $2,000 voucher good for 1-year from the awarded date. This voucher will be redeemable when the student accepts admission to the in-state college or university of their choice. Colombo Law will coordinate with the student and their school, and will send the check directly to the student’s chosen in-state educational institution.

Submission and Application Information

Essay Submission Rules

The Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship Program is open to all high school seniors who meet the eligible requirements listed under “Eligibility Criteria.” The topic should be as follows:

Write an essay that describes an experience you had with distracted driving and how you reacted to stop it. In addition, write about your ideas to help stop distracted driving amongst teens and people of all ages.

Eligible high school seniors should use the Essay Template and follow the guidelines below when formatting their submission:

Download the Essay Template

  • Essays must be between 800 and 1200 words long
  • All entries must be double-spaced and written in 12-point font
  • Submitted essays should have one-inch top, bottom, and side margins
  • You must complete the “Contact Information” section on page two of the Essay Template for your submission to be eligible
  • Your essay must begin on page three of the document you submit
  • Save your essay using the following file name format: firstname_lastname.docx. For example, if your name is John Smith, your file should be saved as John_Smith.docx. Acceptable file formats include: .doc, .docx, .rtf, and .pdf
  • Once you are sure everything has been formatted correctly and you have included all the required information, send your submission to [email protected] with the words “Scholarship Entry” in the subject line of the email.

Application Instructions

  1. Review the information listed under “Eligibility Criteria” to ensure you are eligible for the Colombo Law Distracted Driving Scholarship Program.
  2. Download the Essay Template listed on our Scholarship Page.
  3. Fill out all of the information on the Essay Template, including name, high school, overall GPA, and guidance counselor name. Applications will not be considered complete unless all of the information on the Essay Template is filled out.
  4. Write your essay and be sure it follows all of the criteria listed under “Essay Submission Rules.”
  5. Once properly written and formatted, send your essay to [email protected] before the May 5th deadline with the words “Scholarship Entry” in the subject line of the email.
  6. Winners will be contacted via phone. If the winner cannot be reached via phone, their school guidance counselor will be contacted. If neither of these contact attempts are successful, the winner will be notified via mail. If you are selected as a winner, you may be asked to submit a recent photo of yourself.

Application Deadline and Winner Announcement Dates

All applications must be submitted with the required information by May 5th, 2017.

Winners will be announced by May 26th, 2017.

Winner Selection and Evaluation Criteria

For a submission to be considered, the student must meet all of the requirements listed under “Eligibility Criteria” and the submission must follow all of the requirements listed under “Essay Submission Rules.”

Essays that meet the above requirements will be evaluated and scored based on the Evaluation Rubric:

View Evaluation Rubric

  • Focus and Detail
  • Organization
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Structure
  • Grammar
  • Writing Mechanics
  • Spelling

Essays will be reviewed by a panel of Colombo Law staff members. This panel will narrow the field down to the top 10-20 entries. These finalists will then be reviewed by Dino Colombo who will choose five winners.

Scholarship Release Agreement

By entering the scholarship contest, you and your parents or legal guardians release and agree to hold harmless Colombo Law, and each of their partners or employees, from any liability whatsoever in connection with entering the contest, accepting any prize, or anything that may arise related to the contest. Colombo Law reserves the right to use the concepts from the entries submitted in the competition. All winning entrants will be requiring to sign releases and waivers of liability prior to the distribution of prizes.

Ownership of Entries

All entries submitted to Colombo Law in connection with this contest, along with all copyright, trademark, and other proprietary rights associated therewith, become the property of Colombo Law upon submission. Entry materials will not be returned to any entrant. By submitting an entry, you acknowledge that if you win the scholarship contest, Colombo Law will own all rights to use, modify, reproduce, publish, perform, display, distribute, and promote the artwork in perpetuity without compensation to you or any other person.

Use of Name, Likeness, Etc.

As a condition of receiving a scholarship, each winner, as well as their parents or legal guardians, will be required to consent to the use of their name, area of residence, and school name. You must also consent to using your likeness (as in a photograph or on television) and prize information without limitations, for promotional purposes without further payment.

Questions? Contact Us

Have questions? We’re happy to help. Call us at 304-599-4229 or email us at [email protected] and we will respond as soon as possible.