Shelton School middle and high school students presented Jeff LeGrow a check for $1,000 at a special assembly on March 23. LeGrow is the father of Nicole “Nickel” LeGrow, who died tragically in 2010 at age 16 in an auto accident, the number one cause of teen deaths in the USA. He is also the founder of the Nickel from Nicole non-profit foundation dedicated to saving the lives of other teens from perfectly preventable car accidents.
Nicole was driven as a passenger by her friend, also 16, in a caravan of five cars to celebrate the 16th birthday of another friend. Nicole never made it, because they were involved in a senseless accident when her friend made a poor decision. The cause? Not drugs, alcohol, or texting while driving. It was the reckless driving by her friend at over 100 miles per hour.
LeGrow, a Dallas resident, speaks to schools and organizations like the Texas Association of Student Councils (TASC) about driving safety and how to prevent other deaths like his daughter’s. Shelton middle school student council officers and representatives heard LeGrow at the TASC Middle Level Conference in San Marcos, TX this past November, and that’s when they decided to bring his message to Shelton to their fellow students.
Nicole’s friend Lance, another teen driver headed to the same event that fateful day, decided to tape a nickel on his car radio, in remembrance of his friend “Nickel.” As a survivor, Lance wanted a constant reminder to drive safely. He shared a letter with Nicole’s parents about the nickel, and the LeGrow family decided to copy the idea. The nickel idea caught on, and the non-profit today offers cards to teens at speaking engagements, each affixed with a photo of Nicole and a nickel.
Shelton teens gave full attention to Mr. LeGrow’s presentation as he discussed the major causes of teen auto accidents: driver inexperience, distracted driving, reckless driving, impaired driving, no seat belt, and nighttime or drowsy driving.
Says middle school student council sponsor Lauren Sanders, “Our students wanted to donate to this cause, and we are spreading safe driving awareness through the use of the nickels. It was great seeing our middle and high school student councils come together to secure the nickels on the postcards prior to the assembly.”
“Shelton’s program was especially timed prior to prom and other year-end school occasions, when teens need increased reminders about driving safety," says student council sponsor Ann Wright. "This program carried a huge impact with our students and all others in attendance.”
For more information about Nickel from Nicole, visit www.nickelfromnicole.org.