Return to Headlines

Lake Stevens High School's safety video wins national honors


Lake Stevens High School's (LSHS) Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) won a $3,500 prize for their school by placing first in the Safe Rides-Save Lives PSA Contest, a national competition developed by the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and sponsored by The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes safe driving behavior. The contest empowers youth by having them create public service announcements that will have an impact on teen roadway safety, focusing on the importance of having drivers and passengers buckled up before putting the vehicle into drive. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for young people in the United States, and both FCCLA and The National Road Safety Foundation agree about the importance of youth leaders reaching out to their peers and their communities to address this safety concern.

The winning PSA by LSHS' FCCLA chapter begins by asking the question "What can you do in three seconds?" It connects with common activities that teens typically do many times throughout the day. In an ominous tone, it continues "if you don't [buckle your seat belt], you won't have three more seconds." By reminding teens of the consequences of not using their seat belt, it delivers the message that using a seat belt is an important choice.

Student photo of Grace Fortney

Grace Fortney, a member of LSHS' chapter of FCCLA and the State Secretary for Washington State FCCLA, was the videographer and creative mind behind the winning PSA. In 2017, she attended the FCCLA National Leadership Conference and was empowered by last year's winning video. Growing up as the daughter of a police officer, she knew the importance of using a seatbelt, but it wasn't until she began driving that she realized it was her responsibility to ensure her passengers buckled up as well. Reminding her sister and friends to buckle up as passengers became her inspiration for the PSA.

"We are thrilled to partner with The National Road Safety Foundation to offer this contest to our teen members. According to the CDC, seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. By encouraging students to get into the habit early of wearing seat belts, they are being set on a path towards a safer future behind the wheel," said Sandy Spavone, Executive Director of FCCLA."

"This PSA shows how decisions teens make impact many people they love," said Michelle Anderson, director of operations at The National Road Safety Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes safe driving behavior. "Through this partnership with FCCLA, we have encouraged students at schools nationwide to participate in developing creative ways to spread the important seat belt message to their peers."

The winning PSA was selected from a pool of 80 applicants from around the nation and will bring LSHS a cash prize of $3,500, in addition to having their PSA featured at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in Atlanta, where more than 8,000 youth and adults will be in attendance. In celebration of FCCLA Week, the FCCLA National Executive Council, ten high school students from across the nation who are elected each year to serve as the organization's youth representatives, were audience participants today in the New York studio of the broadcast of "Good Morning America."

To view the winning PSA on YouTube, visit:

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) is a dynamic and effective national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work, and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences education. FCCLA has more than 164,000 members and more than 5,300 chapters from 49 state associations, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

The National Road Safety Foundation, Inc. (NRSF) is a non-profit charitable organization that for more than 55 years has been dedicated to reducing crashes, deaths and injuries on our nation's highways by promoting safe driving habits through greater public awareness. For more information or to download free programs, visit or

Photo of Grace Fortney

Interview photo of Grace Fortney