Palmer Williams, a 2020 graduate from Hillgrove High School, entered and won a video contest sponsored by Discovery Education and Toyota.
The TeenDrive365 Video Challenge invites teens to highlight ways that young drivers can stay safe on the road. “We believe that you have the power to inspire your fellow teens, maybe better than a teacher or a parent can, because you know what messages will be the most powerful,” states the contest website.
Palmer’s video impressed the judges with its simple yet powerful message about texting and driving. Titled “HEY!” the video features a very distracted teen going through the day, constantly staring at his phone. Members of Palmer’s family and friends helped out as extras in the short 1-minute PSA. (Click the video below to watch Palmer’s winning video.)
Palmer noted that there were several key moments during his Cobb School career that helped him along the way. A course at Cheatham Hill Elementary taught him to edit video on an iPad. “That’s where I really caught the bug to put stories together,” Palmer said. He progressed in his understanding and skills with photography and video using equipment available to him during middle school.
“And then throughout high school I did different jobs here and there,” he continued, “working with Mr. Stafford in the Events Department. Filmmaking slowly developed into a passion, and now I want to start making movies and take my career to another level.”
“We could not be more proud of Palmer,” said Chief Academic Officer Jennifer Lawson, speaking on behalf of the Cobb County School District. “We are so excited to see where he will take us next. To find your purpose and passion at such a young age is an incredible gift.”
“The District is so glad to partner with Discovery and Toyota to celebrate incredible young people,” Ms. Lawson told the assembled group at AutoNation Toyota. “This is why we exist. Students like Palmer are an honor and an inspiration and make it all worthwhile.”