Project Yellow Light


Julie Garner

Project Yellow Light. Have a voice. Make a difference. Save a life.

Project Yellow Light is a high school scholarship competition designed to bring about change. Applicants have one clear mission: to encourage other teens to develop and embrace safe driving habits.

Car crashes are the number one killer of teenagers in the U.S. and in many countries on the planet. Not drugs, not gang violence, not teen suicide. Car crashes. Project Yellow Light’s mission is to help reverse those numbers and to do so by enlisting the teens themselves to get involved. PYL is empowering teens to make a difference in this critical issue in a way that adults have not been able to do and just frankly can’t. Every applicant to this scholarship/project is a winner because they are making a difference. They have a voice. They’re saving lives.

When Julie’s son was killed in a car crash at age 16, there were only two things that Julie, her husband, and their daughter could focus on after his death. One was that they wanted to do everything they could to keep his memory alive; they didn’t want anyone to forget him. The second was that they wanted to do everything in their power to keep others from going through this hell; whatever they could do to save other teens from such an untimely demise.

Applicants are asked to create short videos to appeal to their friends to be careful when they first start taking on the road. The participants have a unique opportunity to play a key role in spreading the important message of safe driving – they motivate, persuade, and encourage other teens to be careful. They speak to their peers on this subject in a way that adults cannot. The more lives they can impact, the more lives they save.

Through Project Yellow Light, teens take an active role in being part of the solution of reversing the number of teen car crashes. This project invites them to save lives. It invites them to start a movement. And in doing so, it empowers teens and they are embracing this mission.

When you give people ownership, they embrace a project and make it their personal mission. This has happened with all those who have taken part in Project Yellow Light in the five years it’s been in existence. This past year, Project Yellow Light joined forces with the Advertising Council and the National Organizations for Youth Safety, giving it a national platform and allowing it to reach high school seniors and teen organizations throughout the U.S. The most current contest attracted over 400 entries from around the country.

Julie’s mission is to promote this effort as much as possible in as many public platforms as possible and to get teens throughout the country exposed to PYL. Hunter’s scholarship was created by a grieving mom, a grieving family. In so many ways, our children define who we are. Likewise, Hunter’s death has also defined who Julie is.