Atlanta Jewish Academy students won by not quite winning Landmark Automotive’s Atlanta Teen Safe Driving contest this month.
The Morrow-based car dealer organized a high-stakes contest to encourage teen drivers around the area to understand safe driving practices and sign a pledge not to text and drive. Landmark offered $10,000 to the high school that gathered the most pledges from students, their parents and other adults in their communities over two months ending Dec. 5.
The top two schools in the contest were AJA and Kennesaw Mountain High School, whose enrollment from ninth through 12th grades is roughly four times that of AJA’s lower, middle and upper schools combined.
Landmark held the announcement of the winner at its Morrow showroom Friday, Dec. 11. The AJA students planned to apply their prize — $10,000 if they won, $1,000 if they finished second — to the school’s annual fund to provide tuition assistance, which 52 percent of AJA students receive.
Kennesaw Mountain won the top prize, however, and its students explained their plan to use the money for the school’s Shop With a Mustang program, in which high-schoolers take underprivileged elementary school children shopping to get holiday gifts for their families and themselves.
The AJA students at the announcement — Jesse Cann, Gil Vayner, Avi Greene, Dauren Parker, Rachel Kahen, Shira Solomon, Nicole Nooriel, Ellie Parker, Oryah Bunder, Ruby Jacobs and Maia Dori — decided on the spot to donate their $1,000 second-place prize to Shop With a Mustang.
“After hearing about all the incredible things that you guys do with the money,” Dori said, “we wanted to give you our check to help support your cause.