Well, it’s official. I am now a high school graduate. On Sunday June 3rd I not only received my diploma, I also handed over my “seniority” to once again be considered a freshman…in college!! Granted I still have a couple months before that label will take full effect, it’s still a crazy thought. However, June 3rd was not only graduation day; it was also ‘North Dakota Teen Drive Safe Day.’ When choosing a specific date for this proclamation day I wanted to be sure there was significant meaning behind it. I found that meaning one day when I was perusing teen driving articles on the internet. I found some eye opening information. According to AAA, “7 out of the 10 deadliest days for teenage drivers occur between late May and early August.” This makes summer the prime season for fatal car accidents. While this statistic seems evident, the actuality really hit me. Summer; schools out, kids are left alone during the days and sent to the lakes on weekends. While this is all great fun, the kicker is that, even though we are now free from the restraints of schoolwork, we need to not shut our brains entirely off. Being aware is one of the greatest shields we can wield. Our defensive driving skills need to be sharply in tune and we need to make sure we are personally making every effort to limit our distractions. My hopes are that along with graduation, everyone started their summer off with the mindset that it’s drive safe day! Because, in reality, we should be driving safely every day!

Signing off as an official high school graduate,
Miss Teen North Dakota International 2012

Governor Jack Dalrymple:  Helped make "North Dakota Teen Drive Safe Day' possible!
I am blessed to have such a strong support system!

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