Katherine Zhou and Matthew Clark

        ZhouSeniorPhoto1– Winners of the Edgar Snyder & Associates Scholarship for Safe Driving Projects  By: Paula Green

Two local area students were winners of the Edgar Snyder & Associates “Words to Be Heard” Scholarship Contest.

       Katherine Zhou, 18, was the $5,000 grand prize winner in the competition.  Her video entry entitled, “Drive From Distraction” raises awareness about “inTextication,” a condition comparable to driving after four beers.

       Zhou’s powerful presentation conveys the message – “a text can wait, because no message is as important as a human life.”  She was motivated to create the video because she had her own personal experience with this situation.

       “I had an interest in the topic because I was in a driving accident.  My mother and I got rear-ended by a teen that was driving distractedly,” Zhou said.

        Zhou is a recent graduate of North Allegheny Senior High School.  She will attend Duke University in the fall.  She is currently undecided on her major but is leaning towards pre-law.  She has been involved with numerous extra-curricular activities.

        She volunteers at UPMC Passavant and the North Allegheny Forensics Institute, she was also a member of the school’s speech and debate team, and she plays the piano.

        Zhou is quite an accomplished concert pianist.  She has performed four times at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, three times at Pittsburgh Heinz Hall, and has won numerous accolades at the World Piano Competition as well as other musical competitions.

        She is excited to be the grand prize winner of the safe driving contest sponsored by the law firm.  “I was so honored.  I want to thank my friends, my family and Edgar Snyder & Associates for their support.  I am grateful I got the chance to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.” Zhou said.

       Zhou resides in Franklin Park with her parents – Xin (her father), Fangzi Liao (her mother) and two younger siblings Margaret, 15, and Joshua, 11.

   Matthew.Clark    Eighteen year old, Matthew Clark was a second place scholarship winner.  He won a $2,500 scholarship for his musical talents.  Clark composed a rap song about the dangers of drinking and driving.     

      “I was honored to be chosen as a scholarship winner in the Edgar Snyder contest.  There were so many entries, at high levels, to win one was amazing.   I figured I would come up with something a little more unique than the typical ads you see on television.  This one spoke more towards an audience of my peers.  I’ve always been good at writing lyrics and coming up with creative lines.  So, to put in the work and be rewarded for it while relaying a good message is just awesome,” Clark said.

        He is a recent graduate of Pine-Richland High School, where he was very actively involved in varsity baseball, the student government and the “Best Buddies” program.  Outside of school, Clark volunteers for the Miracle League and also at his church.

        He will attend the University of South Carolina in the fall and major in Sports and Entertainment Management.  He resides in Pine Township with parents Dave and Laura and two brothers Ben (24) and Joey (16).

        To view the “Words to be Heard” Scholarship Contest winners, visit www.edgarsnyder.com/scholarship2013.