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Ike students take prize in safe driving video contest

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published May 27, 2016


SHELBY TOWNSHIP — The initiative and talent of two Eisenhower High School students recently paid off when they took a first-place award in a filmmaking contest.

Eisenhower sophomores Isabel Wallace and Emma Heidrich worked together to create a 30-second public service announcement video for the Courageous Persuaders contest, which was sponsored by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association. The contest’s objective is to encourage students to make videos that warn people of the dangers of underage drinking and driving while texting.

According to Utica Community Schools, U.S. and Canadian students from 242 high schools competed in the contest.

While the contest’s grand prize went to two Plymouth High School students, Wallace and Heidrich’s video won first place for the Courageous Persuaders Award, Dangers of Texting While Driving.

The results were announced May 11, and Wallace and Heidrich’s work was screened May 18 during a Utica Community Schools film event at the Emagine Macomb theater in Macomb Township.

Wallace said she did the acting in the video, which she said was created roughly four months ago. She said the video, titled “Two Things at Once,” depicts activities that fail to work when done simultaneously — including texting and driving.

One example of this theme, she said, was “trying to curl my hair and eat mac and cheese at the same time, and it didn’t work.”

“We wanted to spread awareness of the dangers of texting and driving,” Wallace said. “We knew it was going to be viewed by middle schoolers, so we wanted it to be funny.”

Heidrich said she was in charge of filming the commercial. The filming took place in multiple locations, including inside a home, outside in a neighborhood and in a car.

She described the sensation of winning first place.

“We were really surprised and really excited and grateful for it,” she said. “We didn’t realize how impactful it would be … all the difference we were making.”

For taking first place in the texting category, the pair won a total of $2,000 in scholarship money, which they split. The students said their video is also supposed to eventually appear on the contest’s website.

Wallace said she and Heidrich received support from Eisenhower teacher Josephine Braun, but much of the work and responsibility was on them.

“I definitely think we’re going to continue to film and go on with what we love, because we love to do this, and we love to do this together,” Wallace added.

Discover more about Utica Community Schools by visiting or by calling (586) 797-1000. Find out more about the Courageous Persuaders contest by visiting See Wallace and Heidrich’s video at