RHS students finalists in national Ford video contestFive Rosemount High School students hope a catchy tune about seatbelt use and safety behind the wheel will earn them $5,000 each to put toward college. Win or lose, though, all of the students agree this is the most fun they’ve ever had with a scholarship application.
By: Nathan Hansen, Rosemount Town Pages
Five Rosemount High School students hope a catchy tune about seatbelt use and safety behind the wheel will earn them $5,000 each to put toward college. Win or lose, though, all of the students agree this is the most fun they’ve ever had with a scholarship application.
RHS senior Kristen Farris found the Ford-sponsored Belt it OUT! competition while she was sifting through scholarship applications in the RHS guidance office. The online contest asked students to write and record an original song about being safe on the roads.
Farris recruited friends Mackenzie Carlson, Alex Norris and Casey Tousignant to help. Then they went to video production teacher Jim Norris to find someone who could help them record and edit the video. Norris connected them with Dave Iverson.
The group, which calls itself Alive With Five, composed its song by listing safe driving habits like wearing seatbelts and refraining from texting while driving, then found ways to make them rhyme (If you are smart, and a good thinker/you’ll never forget to always use your blinker). They put together a beat using the computer program Garage Band, then spent a sunny day in February filming in the parking lot at RHS. They borrowed Iverson’s father’s truck, a Ford.
Getting everything just right took a lot of work, but for students suffering from essay overload after filling out piles of other scholarship applications the creative process was a welcome break.
“It wasn’t bad to do. I actually looked forward to it,” Norris said.
The students also had to take an online driving test and pass a quiz.
Farris got a call during spring break that the video was one of 10 finalists. The other students were all over the country on vacation at the time. Iverson was in Hawaii. Tousignant was at Disney World. Farris had to track them all down so they could submit proof that the were licensed drivers and send a DVD copy of the video.
“I was in Disney World (when I found out). Dreams really do come true,” Tousignant said.
The 10 finalists have been posted online at www.drivingskillsforlife.com. The public can vote on their favorites until May 1. Those votes will identify the top five videos, then actress and recording artist Kate Voegele will pick a first, second and third-place video. The first place team will get $5,000 each, second place will get $3,000 each and third will get $1,000 each.
As of Friday morning, Alive With Five was in third place, 291 votes out of second and 400 votes ahead of the fourth-place group.
The video has become a minor hit around RHS. It’s been featured on the school’s video news broadcast and the students say strangers have stopped them in the hall to say they’ve voted for the video.
“My friend’s brother, who’s in middle school, came home singing it,” Farris said.
All five of the students check their results often, but they don’t really need to. They get updates from friends and family on a regular basis. Teachers have shown the video in class, and staff members all around RHS vote as often as they can.
“It’s being watched all over the country, which is weird to think about,” Farris said.