Award presented for commitment to keeping roadways and classmates safe.
AAA Kansas and the AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund presented Matthew Vail, a member of the 2020 Erie (Kansas) High School senior class, with one of two AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Advocate scholarships, during the Kansas Teen Traffic Safety Conference, Nov. 7 in Topeka.
Vail and Maddie Lohmeyer of Hays High School were selected as $1,000 scholarship winners from nearly 35 applicants from high schools around Kansas. The scholarships were given in honor of G. Lawrence “Terry” Keller, longtime AAA Kansas board member and AAA Kansas Traffic Safety Fund trustee, who recently retired. Lohmeyer’s scholarship will be presented at a later time.
“AAA Kansas congratulates Matthew for being a leader and role model in highlighting and sharing traffic safety measures for his peers,” said Shawn Steward, manager for Public and Government Affairs for AAA Kansas. “He indicated that recent traffic fatalities involving Erie teenagers provided a sobering lesson for him and his school. His involvement with the Seatbelts Are for Everyone (SAFE) program and efforts to take important safety messages to the elementary school students in his community stood out as we selected him for this scholarship.”
“It is an honor to not only receive this scholarship but to be one of the first two recipients of this great scholarship,” Matthew Vail said. “I think it is great that they are giving money to the youth that are promoting safe driving”
“Matthew is very sincere in his mission to increase the safety of his peers and others,” said Terri DeGeer, Erie High School Counselor and SAFE adviser. “The SAFE program is a reminder to teens that their voice is important. This substantial scholarship is an added incentive for them to speak up to promote safe driving and passenger practices, regardless of a person’s age.”
Vail is a member of the National Honor Society, KAYs, and the Federated Church youth group. He plays on the varsity football, basketball, and baseball teams for Erie High School. He is currently undecided on a college choice but plans to pursue a career in the healthcare or medical field.