Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship Competition

The Courageous Persuaders competition encourages high school students to create 30-second television commercials on the dangers of underage drinking and texting while driving. Middle school classrooms review and judge the videos, and help determine the scholarship winners.  Participants learn how to create their own video, are honored at an awards celebration, and, most importantly, are making a difference in raising awareness and changing attitudes towards these dangerous issues facing young adults.

In 2007, the Detroit Auto Dealers Association (DADA) and its Executive Director, Rod Alberts, officially adopted Courageous Persuaders and expanded it to a nationwide program.  A special thanks to the late Judge Jim Martone and John Barcyk for coming up with the idea and proposing the opportunity to DADA to further develop.

In 2008, Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) officially announced the SOS’s partnership with Courageous Persuaders.  For the past 10 years, top entries in the innovative Courageous Persuaders distractive driving campaign aimed at teens have won airtime in SOS offices across Michigan.

In 2018, the DADA received 632 video submissions from 917 high school participants representing 225 participating high schools from 40 different states including British Columbia. There were 1,100 middle school evaluators reviewing these videos. There were 29,312 YouTube views of these videos from April 1 – April 28. The 5 top geographic locations viewing were the United States, India, Canada, Germany and United Kingdom.

At the 2018 Courageous Persuaders Ceremony on May 2nd at Emagine Theatre in Royal Oak, MI, 16 awards were presented along with over $30,000 in scholarships.  The overall grand prize-winning commercial airs on Ch. 2 in Detroit as a public service announcement.  This year, at our Courageous Persuaders “Academy Awards”, there were over 250 students, faculty and parents in attendance to watch these amazing videos on the big screen and see the winners announced.

Since its inception, the Courageous Persuaders YouTube Channel has well over 350,000 views with nearly 7,000 video entries submitted from over 14,000 high school students.  Go to and check out these incredible videos.  You will see there is no other program in the country like Courageous Persuaders and, we are proud to say, it is making a difference.