TDS News

Bridgestone Americas Names Winners in the Teens Drive Smart Video Contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Aug. 1, 2012)—Paying for college just got a little easier for the winners of the Bridgestone Americas Teens Drive Smart Video Contest.

Param Bodiwala of Norcross, Ga. has been awarded the top prize—a $25,000 college scholarship.  His winning video, “A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers”, will also air on the MTV Jumbotron in Times Square in New York City during the month of August.  Josh Chitwood of Carmi, Ill., won second place and a $15,000 scholarship for his video, “August 19”, and Miami, Fla. native Miguel Arango took the third spot and a $10,000 scholarship for his video “Learn Early, Drive Safe.”  Mark Araya of Plant City, Fla., was given a Critic’s Choice award and a $2,500 cash prize for the video he produced, “My Distractions.”

The three winning videos beat out more than 2,300 submissions from 16-21 year olds across the United States to become one of the top 10 finalists.  Nearly 18,000 votes helped determine the top three videos and Bridgestone judges then ranked the winners.  The three winning videos, along with the other top 10 finalists, can all be viewed at

“Each year, we’re amazed at the creativity of all the teenagers and young adults who enter the contest,” said Angela Patterson, Manager, Teens Drive Smart Program, Bridgestone Americas.  “And we’re encouraged that so many 16-21 year olds across the country are taking note of how important it is to stop distractions and put safety first behind the wheel.”

In addition to receiving a college scholarship and a free set of Bridgestone brand tires, the three winners have the chance to have their video broadcast as a public service announcement (PSA) on television stations across the United States. These PSAs are supported by Bridgestone Americas in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Transportation.

About the winners:

Param Bodiwala is beginning his freshman year at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Ga., where he will be studying engineering.  His video, “A Reciprocal of Teen Drivers,” is a group of sentences that initially illustrate a negative attitude for teen drivers, but when read in reverse order, the words present an unique and positive message about teen driving.

Josh Chitwood is beginning his freshman year at North Central University in Minneapolis, Minn., where he will be majoring in media studies.  Josh’s video, “August 19”, is about a friend who lost his life last fall in a distracted driving accident.  It encourages drivers to stay focused and alert behind the wheel.

Miguel Arango is beginning his senior year of high school at John A. Ferguson Senior High School in Miami, Fla.  In his video, “Learn Early, Drive Safe”, he uses young children to demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving - no matter what the mode of transportation is.

Mark Araya is beginning his junior year at the University of South Florida in Tampa where he’s majoring in advertising.  He used animated characters to illustrate how dangerous distractions can be in his video, “My Distractions.”

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.