CLICK IT FOR STEPH: A SAFETY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs, COKatie S. Richard W. Brooke L. Jessica A. Tyler P. Melanie A. Brittney M. Erick Z. Alex C. NickS. Abbie K. Promoting Safety with Dum-Dum‟s and Chocolate
In the Face of Tragedy…On the night of October 20, 2011, fourColorado Mountain College studentswere involved in a serious caraccident… three survived. StephenieJo Zgorzynski died on the way to thehospital after being thrown from thecar that had rolled multiple times. Thesurvivors each sustained injuriesserious enough to require at least aone night stay in the hospital. Injuriesincluded: a broken back, broken elbowand deep facial lacerations. BecauseSteph had not been wearing herseatbelt, CMC‟s PEAK Performancedecided that it was necessary to raiseawareness about the five seconds ittakes to buckle a seatbelt.
Turning Adversity into ActionAfter the accident, we as ahealth and wellness group,knew that we needed toact. We spent timeplanning our campaign,always remainingrespectful to anyone thatwas involved. Rather thana one-day event, we, asPEAK, decided to repeatour event every few weeks Each PEAK member had an equalat multiple locations to role in planning and participating ininteract with as many each event that took place. Jobspeople as possible while included making signs, handing outreinforcing the importance candy bars, photographing,of wearing a seatbelt- no planning, collaboration, shopping,matter how short the drive! and organizing materials (signs,
A Team Effort to PromoteSafetyWe made signs to encourage safedriving but out efforts were our mainadvertising: as students, faculty, andcommunity members drove in and out ofcampus, we gave them full-size candybars if they were wearing seatbelts andpassed Dum-Dum lollipops to those whowere not. Engaging with those who stopped was immensely more effective than putting up signs or holding a one-time event. Handing out candy bars every couple weeks encouraged safety and everyone was happy about it… even the bicyclist that got a Snickers for wearing his helmet!
CMC PEAK Makes NOYS!Raising awareness and speaking in honor ofSteph, CMC‟s PEAK Performance dedicateddays to distracted driving simulators, distracteddriving programs and of course our flagshipSeatbelt Awareness Program. Unlike TylerPresnell, featured by NOYS, Steph did notsurvive a car crash. For months our student bodyfocused on the tragedy, but we, as PEAK,decided that it was time to reach out to ourcommunity. We began with the Youth TurnProject Planning Worksheet. Inspired by what Dianne Feldman did for her daughter Casey, we collaborated with other clubs on campus to plant a tree as a memorial
Everyday AwarenessIn an effort to create a permanent reminder of thedangers of not wearing a seatbelt, PEAKpurchased signs to be hung around campus. Thesigns read: “Click It 4 Steph. In loving memory ofSteph Jo Zgorzynski 3/20/93 – 10/20/11” Weplan to expand this awareness by purchasingmore signs and extending the reach from thecampus community to the local community. Bydoing this, we hope to prevent future accidents byreminding everyone leaving campus to fastentheir seatbelts.
Community EffortsThroughout this process,other groups on campusbecame very interested inwhat we were doing andbecause of this wecollaborated with many ofthem on our efforts. Thesegroups include: StudentActivities Council, Vet Techprogram, Women‟s Forum,Student GovernmentCampus Store, RoaringFork Co-op, Residence LifeStaff, Student Calla Fisher, the young women in the frontAmbassadors, Glenwoodlocal nursery, and CMC row second from the left was one of theAdministration. The help passengers in the accident. She sustained athat we received from serious back injury that effected heroutside sources led to the everyday life. She was an active participantsuccess of this program. and eager to join our efforts.
Continuing Efforts Taking inspiration from the Oprah Winfrey show we continued our efforts to educate students on distracted driving. “No Phone Zone” is a program that informs students not only of the dangers of using a cellular phone while diving but other forms of distraction as well. At the end of the event we invited students to sign a pledge (below picture) stating they would not use their phone whileSeeing the driving.bracelets on theNOYS website, ourgroup decided tomake our own“Click It For Steph”bracelets to honorSteph.
Response and Feedback “The PEAK students chose to create a positive outcome from a tragic student accident. We all need to be reminded of the importance of ALWAYS wearing seatbelts and the “Click it for Steph” campaign does this while memorializing a caring, loving student “ „Click It For Steph‟ is an excellent whose life ended so unexpectedly.” example of how our students turned a –Lisa Doak tragic event into a respectful learning (CMC Dean of Student Affairs) opportunity for the students as well ascollege personnel. PEAK Performance developed innovative strategies that not only changed behavior butultimately saved lives. Their dedication to respectfully honoring a student‟s memory is an inspiration to us all.” –Mark McCabe (Assistant Vice President of Student
The Big PictureThe responses we have received from the community have been verysupportive and positive. We truly feel like we have made an impact onstudents with these efforts and this is apparent through the increasedinvolvement on campus. When we began this campaign, our overall goal wasto highlight the preventable nature of this tragedy. Taking action gave ourstudents that were directly involved an emotional outlet, something positive tofocus on, and a sense of accomplishment. We will continue the “Click It ForSteph” campaign in upcoming semesters at CMC. Our future goals are:purchase more traffic signs for the community, continue with the candy barseatbelt campaign, extend the bracelet giveaway, and never forget StephenieJo Zgorzynski.Click it for Safety Click it for Steph Click it for You