(WFXR) — As part of its Traffic Safety Awards and School Recognition, YOVASO honored several schools, students, teachers, and even a media partner in southwest Virginia for their efforts to promote youth traffic safety.

YOVASO says it held an awards ceremony was held on Saturday, July 16 honoring efforts in preventing teen-related traffic crashes and deaths. The awards program is held annually during the Summer Leadership Retreat to recognize youth traffic safety programs and encourage participating high schools to excel in their clubs.

“The awards are designed to recognize all levels of involvement, from new high school clubs just starting their traffic safety programs to veteran high school clubs working towards earning ribbons for Outstanding Club Recognition,” YOVASO said in a statement.

According to organizers, the following schools, students, teachers, and media pertnersfrom southwest Virginia were recognized:

  • Northside High School, Roanoke County
    • Distracted Driving Prevention Award: In recognition of a member club’s outstanding programs to prevent distracted driving among young drivers.
  • Liberty High School, Bedford County
    • YOVASO Club of the Year: In recognition of a member club for establishing and setting the standard for best practices in peer-led youth traffic safety programs. The award recognizes excellence in student leadership and club development, community outreach, engagement of the student body, effectiveness of programming, and participation in YOVASO campaigns and retreats
  • Randolph-Henry High School, Charlotte County
    • Impaired Driving Prevention Award: In recognition of a member club’s outstanding programs and activities to encourage Zero Tolerance and to prevent impaired driving among teens. Award may recognize one exceptional program or a body of work
  • Emma Ogden, Jefferson Forest High School, Bedford County
    • Rock Star Award: In recognition of a student who demonstrates enthusiasm and excitement in his/her school and community for promoting safe teen driving and passenger safety. This student is a champion for the cause and a vocal role model within the school and community.
  • Payton Poindexter, Jefferson Forest High School, Bedford County
    • Youth Leadership Award: In recognition of a YOVASO Youth Advisory Council (YAC) student who demonstrates exemplary leadership skills and a commitment to working on safe teen driving and youth traffic safety programs at the local and state level. The student leads and takes an active role with his/her school club, YAC, and with the Summer Leadership Retreat.
  • Kierra Gilbert, Northside High School, Roanoke County
    • New YOVASO Sponsor of the Year (Teacher Advisor): In recognition of a teacher’s outstanding support and guidance to the school’s traffic safety club during the teacher’s first year as advisor for the club.
  • Ben Thurman, Liberty High School, Bedford County
    • YOVASO Sponsor of the Year (Teacher Advisor): In recognition of a teacher’s ongoing support and guidance to the school’s traffic safety club and commitment to striving for excellence in club growth and development.
  • WFXR TV and The CW Virginia, Roanoke County
    • Media Award: In recognition of a media outlet for support of YOVASO and teen safe driving and traffic safety initiatives.