Charlotte teens create powerful texting and driving PSA, win $15K grand-prize

- Two Charlotte area teenagers created an incredibly powerful texting and driving PSA that snagged a $15,000 grand-prize in a national contest, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced on Tuesday. 

The video, titled “It’s Not Fine,” was created by Providence High School senior Kirklin “Mack” Hopkins and Levine Middle College High School senior Kellen Stadler.

“It’s Not Fine,” which shows the fatal consequences of texting and driving, will be commercially produced for use as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) nationwide, CMS said. 

The two students will share the cash prize of $15,000. 

Their video was chosen from nearly 1,300 submissions by students across the country by a panel of judges that included parents, educators and representatives from Toyota and Discovery Education.

“We are very proud of the powerful video storytelling by Mack and Kellen,” said Dr. Clayton Wilcox, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schoolsin a written statement, released on Tuesday. “It drives home the dangers of texting and driving in a dramatic, effective way. As a national PSA, it could save lives by showing what happens when you text and drive.”

Mack plans to attend UNC School of the Arts and wants to work in television production. He gained his winning skills with video in a fine arts program at Providence. Kellen also plans to attend UNC School of the Arts and will study filmmaking.

The two students were surprised with the announcement that they’d won the top prize on May 22 during a morning assembly at Providence High, CMS said. 

The competition is part of Toyota and Discovery Education’s TeenDrive365 initiative

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