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Cape High Students Against Destructive Decisions earns national recognition; wins Graduated Driver Licensing coalition contest with ‘Cinderella’ video

By Staff | May 7, 2020

When it comes to keeping teen drivers informed, students at Cape Coral High School have you covered.

The Cape High Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter was recognized nationally once again this year, winning the 2019-2020 Graduated Driver Licensing Contest, chosen by the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, along with AAA. Last year, they were named chapter of the year.

The FTSDC held a public service announcement contest to help high school students educate their peers about Graduated Driver Licensing laws.

The group of young adults created a short video to show the gradual approach to granting teen drivers full license privileges by recreating a scene from Cinderella.

“We’re all super thrilled,” said Cape Coral High School SADD sponsor, Dianna Quay. “We’ve had some pretty special stuff happen in the last couple years, and it’s pretty awesome. I’m so proud of them. It’s a proud parent moment. They have my heart.”

Students were to create a minute-long video that showed all aspects of Graduated Driver Licensing, which gives teens experience during structured hours to minimize exposure to high risk driving situations.

“Most parents are unaware that curfew and passenger restrictions exist for their new teen driver,” said Melissa Valido, leader of the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, in a statement. “It’s our hope that continued education on this topic will aid to save lives and prevent injury. Cape Coral High School’s SADD Chapter found a very creative way to help us promote this message.”

Cape High SADD students Owen Foster, Damian Simmons, Adamaris Castillo, Jade Quintana, Elizabet Perez and Jaden Brandish created the video after school one day and put together a scene depicting “Cinderella” having to leave prom because it was getting to late for her to be able to legally drive.

Quay even made a guest appearance as the fairy godmother, floating in via green-screen magic.

“It was a lot of fun,” she said. “The kids came up with the Cinderella idea on their own. We’ve all been to Disney and we all enjoy it so I think that’s how the idea came about.”

Cape Coral High School’s SADD program will receive $1,000 for their winning video, which Quay said they will use to travel to nationals next year in Orlando.

“Graduated Driver Licensing provisions are proven effective in reducing teen crashes by up to 40%,” said Matt Nasworthy, Florida Public Affairs Director for AAA The Auto Club Group. “We’re focused on supporting efforts to educate the community on this important topic and congratulate Cape Coral High School on a job well done.”

While their nationally-recognized group lost many senior members last year, Quay said that despite maybe not having as many students in numbers, their message and passion were stronger than ever.

“It’s the kids. It’s all the kids,” Quay said when asked why she thinks the program has been so successful recently. “I’d like to believe my passion goes out to them – it’s something 100 percent I believe in. We had a huge group graduate last year and it didn’t seem to matter that we were smaller this year. Were able to do everything we needed to do, which shows it doesn’t matter how many kids that are in the group, but the passion of the kids in the group. Each of them all believe in what we’re doing, and I think that makes a big difference.”

Quay also thanked and mentioned tremendous support from Cape Coral High School Administration and the local community, including the Cape Coral Police Department and the Lee County Coalition for the Drug-Free Southwest Florida.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj