Current plans for utilizing Celebrate My Drive award funds lack lasting resolution


photo by Morgan Berk

[vimeo url=”″ width=”200″ height=”300″] With the hopes of encouraging students to make smarter decisions behind the wheel, RBHS participated in the Celebrate My Drive campaign earlier this year. After a week of continuous voting, RBHS was among 45 schools selected to receive $25,000 from the organization.
The rules for utilizing the funds are simple, as schools need only reserve 10 percent of the money for a local safe driving program. But the remaining $22,500 has no restrictions as to what the money can be used for.
RBHS was faced with the task of making the decision for where the winning funds would best be well spent. After various Celebrate My Drive committee meetings, consisting of students, faculty and administrators at RBHS, members pondered and analyzed the best possible way for the money to positively affect the majority of students.
In recent deliberations, the committee is leaning towards the conclusion that the $22,500 will likely be spent to install seating within the school. Though the type of furniture is not yet finalized, bar stools, counters and tables are all being considered for installation in the atriums and commons of the school.
The reasoning behind this decision is because many students are left to sit on the floor during lunch time, since the space in the cafeteria lacks accommedation, and adding additional seating would allow for more comfort to students.
However, utilizing the funds for the purpose of installing furniture in the school is by no means a long-term effective use for the $22,500. Sure, providing a renewed space for students to sit within the school would reach a wide range of individuals, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the money will be made the most of in an effective and meaningful manner.
Within a few years, the tables and chairs will become worn, aged and overused, as time inevitably tends to have that effect on all furniture, and will require replacement. Putting the money towards a material item is an inefficient investment that doesn’t provide the chance of impacting the lives of students beyond their high school years.
If the Celebrate My Drive funds were utilized as a scholarship fund for seniors, the money would be much more effective in positively influencing the lives of students as they move on from RBHS.
Though the school already has the Salute to Seniors scholarship program in place, using this money as an additional scholarship would provide the means necessary for more students to mount the path to success in college. According to a study conducted by the Manpower Demonstration Research Corporation, which is an organization dedicated towards researching what assists to improve the well-being of low-income individuals, 71.8 percent of students entering college, who received financial aid, demonstrated an increase in enrollment and credits over the long term than their peers.
This New York study signified that these students who received scholarships were more likely to meet their educational goals. A couple more chairs or tables will not having the lasting implications of assisting students beyond their days in high school the way a scholarship does.
If RBHS truly wishes to impact the lives of students in the decision of how the Celebrate My Drive money should be used, it’s clear that setting aside the $22,500 as an investment in the future of RBHS graduates is the wiser option.