Taylor Hudson, student at Mayde Creek High School won the Overall Outstanding Community Service Award for her work and platform, Teens in the Driver Seat, in the 2013 Miss Texas Outstanding Teen Pageant held last month. She also was third runner-up in the overall pageant for the entire state of Texas.
Hudson chose her platform based on personal experience. She lost two cousins in a car crash. The crash occurred at night, and the victims weren’t wearing seat belts (two of the most common risk factors for teen drivers).
“No one ever thinks a tragedy like this will happen to their family, but it can, it happened to us,” Hudson said. “My desire is to encourage teens to be responsible drivers, to encourage one another and steer clear from disaster!”
Hudson has been on the TDS Teen Advisory Board since 2012 and was appointed to continue serving until 2014. She has been an activist at her school for promoting Teens in the Driver Seat, being a student voice encouraging students to understand the dangers teenagers face on the road while driving.
In the TDS program at Mayde Creek High School, Hudson speaks to students in elementary school all the way through high school, presenting a program that addresses the risk involved with teen driving and educating students about the responsibilities they all have to be safe drivers and safe passengers. Each week, Hudson meets with her school TDS sponsor, Kim Meador, to give Meador the weekly safety tip which is recited as part of the morning announcements.
“Teens will listen to other teens and TDS helps to provide ideas, visual aids and support,” Hudson said. “Teens want to be part of something that is good and feel that they are making a difference no matter how small of a contribution.”
One of Hudson’s goals for the TDS program is to expand the program into the National Honor Society at her school. She has received rave reviews for her work for the TDS program as she continues to dedicate her time to educating her peers and saving teen lives by promoting driving safety.
“TDS gives me the vehicle and support to reach out to as many young drivers as possible and help them realize the absolute, serious and DEADLY dangers of distracted driving,” Hudson said. “The number of crashes and deaths is alarming. Teens can be a part of the solution if they will get on the bandwagon now and start their own personal campaign and pledge to drive distraction free and reduce risk.”