mj Pilayre

Your Essay or Video on Distracted Driving Could Win Up to $1,000 for Your College Costs

The 2018 Tappahannock Scholarship contest has now ended. Information about the winners can be found here.

Distracted driving causes far too many car accidents in Tappahannock and throughout Virginia. The personal injury lawyers of Marks & Harrison – a firm that has served Virginia residents for more than 100 years – want to do something about this serious issue.


Marks & Harrison proudly announces a scholarship competition aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Our goal is to foster discussion about how to prevent these devastating accidents. At the same time, we want to help young people in the Tappahannock area to pursue a higher education.

We will award a total of $2,000 in scholarship funds to college-bound high school seniors who submit the most insightful essays or videos on how to prevent distracted driving – specifically when it involves the use of apps such as Snapchat. The competition is open to students at five Tappahannock area high schools:

  • Essex High School
  • Rappahannock High School
  • Northumberland High School
  • Washington & Lee High School
  • Lancaster High School.

Scholarship Prizes

Each winner will receive a check from the law firm of Marks & Harrison made out to the school they will be attending.
These funds must be used to pay for education-related expenses. Any applicable federal, state and local taxes on the scholarship will be the sole responsibility of the scholarship recipients.

Prize Icon


First Place

Prize Icon


Second Place

Prize Icon


Third Place

Eligibility to Enter the Scholarship Competition

We invite seniors from Essex, Rappahannock, Northumberland, Washington & Lee and Lancaster high schools who will be going to college to enter our scholarship competition by submitting an essay or video.

Applicants who are age 17 or younger must provide parental consent to enter. Employees of Marks & Harrison and their immediate family members also are not eligible.

Topic for the Scholarship Competition

Distracted driving is a problem among drivers of all ages. However, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that it is an especially serious issue among drivers between the ages of 15 and 19. The agency reports that this age group has the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal auto accidents.

We invite you to share your perspective on distracted driving by submitting an essay or video that addresses this topic:

Do you think that the growing use of apps like Snapchat has contributed to a rise in distracted driving? If so, what can we do to stop people from using these apps while they drive and, in turn, prevent distracted driving accidents?

Application and Essay/Video Requirements

To enter the scholarship competition, you must submit:

  • An essay of 600 words or less, or
  • A video that is two minutes or shorter.

Only one essay or video is allowed per student. The essay or video must be original. Plagiarism is a serious violation and will result in automatic disqualification.

Entries must be sent by email to:

Your submission must include:

  • Your essay as a Word document (in .doc or .docx format) or your video in a readable format (.avi or .mp4)
  • A digital photo of yourself (in .jpg or .png format)
  • A copy of your school transcript or proof of enrollment
  • A cover sheet with:
    • Your name, address, and contact phone number
    • The name and address of your school
    • A short bio describing yourself (two or three sentences)
    • A signature of a parent or guardian (if you are younger than 18).

Deadlines for Entering the Scholarship Competition

We will begin accepting essays and videos on

September 15, 2017

The deadline for submissions is

May 15, 2018

We will announce the winners on

June 15, 2018



Our selection committee will select the scholarship winners. The committee’s decisions are final.

Winner Notification


The winners will be notified via the contact information submitted on their applications. Winners will be posted on the firm website.

General Rules

By submitting an application, you acknowledge that Marks & Harrison owns all rights to publish, distribute and promote the essay.

By submitting an application, you grant Marks & Harrison the right to use your name, biographical information and photograph for marketing or other purposes.

By participating in the scholarship competition, applicants agree to indemnify and hold harmless Marks & Harrison, its members, officers, directors, and employees against any and all liability and costs associated with the contest or the acceptance or use of prizes.

We wish the best of luck to our young applicants and look forward to accepting your entries.


If you have any questions, please feel free to contact: