Entries in both the essay and video contests should include citations for any information referenced, with citations for video entries being included with the transcript.

AT&T and Missouri Press Association are continuing the tradition of the It Can Wait campaign while offering a new initiative that gives students a different way to express themselves. 

MPA has partnered with AT&T for the It Can Wait campaign for the last five years, tasking students with writing an essay that explains why they feel drivers should never text and drive. 

AT&T has long been a supporter of MPA, including helping to sponsor the Association’s annual convention. 

In addition to writing an essay, this year’s It Can Wait participants may also create a short video (60-90 seconds) on why they feel drivers should never drive while distracted. Video entries should also include a transcript. 

For both essay and video entries, students should answer, “What is the most persuasive argument to convince people not to drive distracted?” 

As in years past, these videos will also encourage others to take the pledge to drive distraction free. 

Entries in both the essay and video contests should include citations for any information referenced, with citations for video entries being included with the transcript. 

Students will have until April 15 to submit their entries (essay or video) to your newspaper for local judging. You will then choose entries to pass on to MPA for statewide judging. 

Statewide winners for the essay contest will receive $1,000, while video winners will receive $500 from AT&T. This year’s contest will only be open to high school students. 

Members of Missouri Press play a very critical part in this campaign by promoting it within your community and at the schools you cover. The more students who participate in the It Can Wait contest, the more this important message will spread. 

“For several years, Missouri Press and our member newspapers have been vital to spreading the message that drivers should never be distracted behind the wheel. The great thing about the It Can Wait campaign is it focuses on high school students who are learning good driving habits and this message is something they will remember as they get older,” MPA Executive Director Mark Maassen said.

Submissions can be sent to newsroom@lakesunonline.com.