BELLBROOK — Sugarcreek Township trustees presented a Bellbrook High School student with a proclamation Oct. 20 for her winning design in the State Farm Billboard Contest.
Emily Mills, a sophomore in Michelle Fogartey’s drawing and painting class, said she spent a long time planning the design before she actually created it.
“I had a lot of ideas. I just wanted to do something that was not too distracting or use too much — if it’s a billboard you don’t want it to distract,” Mills said.
Mills’ design depicts a car with a driver and passenger inside. The car is approaching a stop sign, cones and caution tape. Music notes float outside the windows and the driver has a cellphone in her hand.
“I wanted to show music so you can see it’s not just texting and driving,” Mills said, who isn’t driving yet but is keeping her message in mind for the future.
Mills’ catch phrase spans across the top of the billboard in chalkboard letters: “LIVE BY THIS CODE: Keep Your Eyes On The Road.”
“She’s very talented,” Fogartey said of her art student. “I liked it a lot — but I’m not surprised because she’s a great artist.”
Greene County Safe Communities Coalition Coordinator Jillian Drew and Rick Kolmin of State Farm in Xenia created and sponsored the contest to raise awareness among high school students about Teen Driver Safety Week, held Oct. 15-21. The goal was to allow students to educate students — and to end up with products for real world use.
“I think being able to contribute something like this gives them an opportunity to show off their abilities and at the same time sends a great message about a major concern people have today,” Principal Chris Baker said.
According to Greene County Public Health (GCPH) officials, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, ahead of all types of injury, disease or violence.
Mills’ billboard design, along with Cedarville and Greeneview high school students’ designs, have been displayed this week around the county on various Lamar Advertising billboards and on Wright State University Nutter Center’s digital billboard.
The first-place-tie earned Mills a $500 check and $250 for Fogartey’s classroom. Sugarcreek Township trustees Carolyn Destefani and Nadine Daugherty also read a proclamation to Mills.
“We love when students get involved in the community,” Destefani said. “We’re really proud of her and all of the students.”
Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.