Courageous Persuaders Video Scholarship 2023-2024

What is the Courageous Persuaders Scholarship? According to the Courageous Persuaders website, students can “Create a TV commercial targeted at middle school students to warn them about the dangers of underage drinking.

Win scholarship money and trophies, have fun, and gain valuable experience. The grand prize-winning commercial will be broadcast on TV, and the team that created it will work with Pluto Post and the Detroit Auto Dealers Education Foundation to upgrade their spot for air.”

Who is eligible to apply?

Open to all high school students in grades 9-12 – not only those taking video production.

To enter, Create a 30-second commercial to warn middle school students about the DANGERS OF UNDERAGE DRINKING or TEXTING WHILE DRIVING. Students can enter separate videos in both categories.

Watch last year’s grand prize winner through this link!

How much is the Scholarship worth?

There a number of prizes and amounts.

When is the Scholarship application deadline?

Due to inclement weather, the deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday, February 2023.  Your entry must either be submitted online or postmarked by this date.
March:  Middle School Evaluators judge videos.
May: High School winners will be announced at the Courageous Persuaders Awards Celebration.

Here are some handy links:

Official Rules & Instruction Guidelines

The Competition/2023 Official Rules & Instruction Guidelines

The following rules must be followed, or your video will be disqualified

  1. Your commercial must be 30 seconds long or less, and your message must be about the dangers of underage drinking or the dangers of texting while driving. Students can enter separate videos in both categories. Middle School classrooms are your target audience. Videos will be judged on originality, creativity, and persuasiveness.
  2. There are two ways you may enter your commercial: (a) Upload video entry to the Internet (i.e., YouTubeVimeo, or SchoolTube) along with the completion of the online entry form; or (b) you can mail the entry form and DVD to Courageous Persuaders®, 1900 West Big Beaver Road, Suite 100, Troy MI 48084.
  3. Due to inclement weather, the deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Friday, February annually. Your entry must either be submitted online or postmarked by this date.
  4. One student may submit more than one commercial.
  5. Should your commercial be selected as a winning entry, please save all original work.
  6. You may enter as an individual or as a team. All team members listed on the entry form must be high school students in grades 9-12 (ages 19 and under) and United States or Canadian citizens attending the United States (or U.S. territories) or Canadian high school. The team captain decides on team members. Team members must be listed on the entry form. Should your commercial be selected as a winning entry, the scholarship money would be divided evenly among all team members listed on the entry form.
  7. A completed Consent Form is required for each individual creating or producing the commercial, including music and sound effects. This includes all team members, all on-camera actors, all voice-over announcers, individuals in photographs, music composers, sound effect creators, and musicians who have participated in any way. You will only be contacted and required to complete the Consent Form if selected as a finalist before your entry is sent for final judging, aired on television or added to the Courageous Persuaders® website. Every person involved in developing or producing the commercial submission must sign a Consent Form.
  8. A Work Cited page must be completed under an MLA or APA format and submitted with the Consent Form if chosen as a finalist. This includes photographs, researched facts, and statistics. Do not use any family photographs, published photographs, website photographs, or film footage without written permission from the owner or all people in the photograph/film footage. This includes footage of school activities and sporting events. Photos that appear on the Internet and in magazines usually have copyrights and cannot be used (all movie, video game, and TV footage is protected, as are news photos and film footage). Any video or photographs submitted using images without signed permission of the video or photograph’s owner will be disqualified.
  9. No alcohol can be consumed or appear to be consumed during the making of your commercial. You may dramatize the drinking of alcohol if you use a non-alcoholic beverage and cut the scene when the container reaches the lips of the actor. Nothing can be ingested. All “real” alcohol brand names must be removed from bottles or covered up so they are not seen. Do not use distinguishable alcohol containers, even if the labels are removed.
    No “drinking games” are allowed in your video (i.e., Beer Pong).
  10. Commercials must be acceptable for airing by television stations; vulgar language and graphic content are not allowed.
  11. Commercials that contain dangerous stunts, unsafe driving, vomit or vomiting, or toilet scenes will be disqualified.
  12. Do not show any company names or logos (i.e., businesses, high schools, universities, cemeteries), trademarks or art, including those on hats, shirts, and other clothing items.
  13. Do not include any phone numbers or website addresses except for You may include your name and those of your team in the video as producers of the video if you choose, although it is not necessary.
  14. You may not use images in your video of tombstones with legible names and dates unless you have written permission from the deceased’s family. Permission must be submitted with your entry. You may edit the names and dates by blurring or blacking them out.
  15. Videos submitted to the Courageous Persuaders® competition will not be returned. They may be displayed, duplicated, edited, and exhibited for educational or promotional purposes as deemed appropriate by the Detroit Auto Dealers Association Education Foundation, Inc. The video submission constitutes your approval for such use and exhibition. We suggest you duplicate your commercial if it is damaged in a mailing.
  16. Any video that glamorizes or encourages drinking will be disqualified. Any videos submitted by students will be determined to be ineligible at the sole discretion of Courageous Persuaders®. Any dispute associated with a video submission will be governed by substitutive and procedural Michigan law.
  17. Given the fluctuation in the number of entries each year, we cannot determine the odds of winning. However, each year at least 16 awards are presented.

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