A ‘Whale’ of a Video: High School Students from Washington, D.C. Area Win Grand Prize in Toyota TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

Students Win $15,000 and Their PSA Will Run on Discovery’s Networks

SILVER SPRING, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–If you were steering a beluga whale down the street, would you risk
sneaking a peek at your phone? Probably not. High school sophomores
Matthew Post and John Caporaletti agree, and in their new public service
announcement (PSA), they encourage their peers to drive their vehicles
with the same care and attention. Today Toyota and Discovery
, the leading provider of digital content and professional
development for K-12 classrooms, announced that the Sherwood High School
students of Montgomery County Public Schools in Olney, Md. (outside of
Washington, D.C.) won the grand prize in the Toyota TeenDrive365
Video Challenge
for their video “For the Whales.” You can view their
winning video here.

Now in its fifth year, the Toyota and Discovery Education challenge
invites teens across the country to create public service videos to
inspire their friends and peers to drive more safely. Matthew and John’s
video provides an innovative perspective on the seriousness of driving
with the stark reminder that just like a beluga whale, a standard sedan
weighs a whopping two tons. With this in mind, the pair encourage
drivers to eliminate risky behaviors and focus on the road. The teens
will receive $15,000 and will work with a Discovery film crew to reshoot
their video into a TV-ready PSA to air on a variety of Discovery

“We were delighted by Matthew and John’s unexpected take on the huge
responsibility of driving a vehicle,” said Mike Goss, General Manager,
Social Innovation, Toyota Motor North America. “Their video is clever
and funny and best of all, it works. It really makes you stop and think
about why it’s so important – as they put it – to drive smart. We’re
excited to help them share this message with teens everywhere.”

“We applaud this year’s grand prize winners Matthew and John and their
use of digital storytelling, creativity and humor to influence the
behavior of their peers and ultimately help save lives,” said Bill
Goodwyn, President and CEO at Discovery Education. “The TeenDrive365
Video Challenge is about empowering young people like Matthew and John
to address the critical issue of distracted driving, and they did it
with smarts and creativity. We look forward to their PSA running across
Discovery’s networks and influencing other drivers out there to be more

“We hope this video inspires fellow Sherwood High School friends and
students to drive more safely, we hope it sends a broader message across
the Washington, D.C. area, and across the nation,” said William Gregory,
Principal of Sherwood High School. “Driving a car takes tremendous
responsibility – for teens and adults of all ages – and Matthew and John
perfectly illustrated that.”

Matthew and John’s video was chosen by a panel of judges at Toyota and
Discovery Education from more than 1,500 submissions – the most ever
received in contest history. The other winners include:

  • Second Place: Samuel Brown and Lillian Smith, students at Oklahoma
    City Public Schools’ Classen School of Advanced Studies in Oklahoma
    City, Okla., will receive $10,000, as well as a behind-the-scenes trip
    to a live taping of a Velocity network show for their video, “Scary
  • Third Place: Blake Rozas and Jackson Ingraham, students at Eanes
    Independent School District’s Westlake High School in Austin, Texas
    will receive $7,500 for “Brain
  • People’s Choice: Blake Takushi and Tyler Mora, students at Fort Bend
    Independent School District’s Kempner High School and Austin High
    School in Sugar Land, Texas, who
    were chosen online by public vote
    , will receive $5,000 and a
    behind-the-scenes trip to a taping of a Velocity network show.

The additional seven finalists will receive $2,500, and four regional
winners will receive $1,000. Their videos can be viewed here.

The challenge is part of Toyota TeenDrive365 (www.TeenDrive365.com),
a comprehensive initiative to help teens and parents become safer
drivers together. Building on the programs Toyota has offered for more
than a decade, it offers a collection of online tools, events, expert
advice and tips as well as social media elements.

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM), the world’s top automaker and creator of the Prius
and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to building vehicles for
the way people live through our Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. Over the
past 50 years, we’ve built more than 30 million cars and trucks in North
America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and
directly employ more than 42,000 people (more than 33,000 in the U.S.).
Toyota operates 1,800 North American dealerships (1,500 in the U.S.
alone which sold almost 2.5 million cars and trucks in 2015) – and about
80 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 20 years are still
on the road today.

Toyota partners with philanthropic organizations across the country,
with a focus on education, safety, and the environment. As part of this
commitment, we share the company’s extensive know-how garnered from
building great cars and trucks to help community organizations and other
nonprofits expand their ability to do good. For more information about
Toyota, visit 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital
content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning
digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the
largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million
educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services
are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the
UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with
districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students,
empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions
that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one
nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education


for Toyota
Amy Gross, 646-805-2037
Shawnee Cohn, 240-393-5849