Seventeen-Year-Old Cypress High School Student Creates Nation’s Best Video to Discourage Teens from Distracted Driving

by The Wireless Foundation | May 21, 2015

O.C. School of the Arts Senior Gillian Annis Wins the “Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses” PSA Contest Sponsored by The Wireless Foundation™


Cypress, CA, May 21, 2015 – Gillian Annis, 17, of Cypress, California will receive the grand prize $5,000 scholarship for creating the nation’s best video in the inaugural “Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses” PSA contest sponsored by The Wireless Foundation™. Annis’ winning entry, “It’s Not Just Your Life,” will be shown at the award ceremony to be held at the Orange County School of the Arts.

 Through a partnership with By Kids For Kids, The Wireless Foundation created the Drive Smart campaign to enlist young people to develop compelling videos that discourage their peers from driving while distracted. The winners were judged by a panel of parents and wireless industry executives.

 “I wanted to take a stand about the dangers of distracted driving, and make it clear that the risks are too high for people of all ages. My hope in creating this video is that people remember this video, and recognize the fact that no text – or distraction – is that important,” said Gillian Annis.

 In addition to Annis’ scholarship, her teacher and mentor, Aaron Orullian, received $500. Two second place winners were each awarded $1,000 scholarships: Garrett Dubofsky of Mercer Island, WA and Terrence Hunt of Hampden, CT. Three semifinalists each won $500 scholarships: Joseph Giusto of Hope Mills, NC; Katrina Kinder of Grenada, MS; and Jack Rasmussen of Mercer Island, WA.

 “Gillian created a powerful video that will help stop people from distractions when they are behind the wheel,” said Stephanie Mathews O’Keefe, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer of CTIA–The Wireless Association and Board Secretary of The Wireless Foundation. “Driving distractions can come in many forms, but it’s important that everyone remembers that their number one priority when behind the wheel is safety. While mobile devices, at their core, are public safety tools since we can call for help anytime, anywhere, we must make sure we’re being responsible users. Wireless companies – from the carriers to the device manufacturers to the app providers – offer a variety of tools to help parents to stop their kids from cellphone distractions when behind the wheel.”

 To learn more about the Drive Smart: No Distractions, No Excuses campaign and see the videos, visit



About The Wireless Foundation

The Wireless Foundation ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to developing and supporting initiatives that use wireless technology to help American communities. The Foundation’s innovative programs benefit consumers in areas including education, health, safety and the environment. The Foundation was formed by CTIA-The Wireless Association® member companies in 1991.

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The Wireless Foundation: Amy Storey, [email protected], 202-736-3207

About By Kids For Kids

By Kids for Kids® (BKFK®) is an agency that empowers youth invention, innovation, and entrepreneurship. BKFK provides a unique platform for kids and teens to develop and showcase their ideas, inventions, and entrepreneurship. The company provides free educational resources, including curricula and challenges that promote social change, product innovation, and entrepreneurial endeavors. Learn more:

 Press Contact:

BKFK: Judy Klym, [email protected], 203-921-9039