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Submitted by Joshua Brooks on 04/03/2020

I have a huge passion for cars, especially the Challenger and Charger from Dodge. Of course, as a high senior, I am stuck driving the 3rd-ranked car in our family, which happens to be a 2003 Honda. I also have a huge passion for sports. I am proud that my journey through Clements High School — including sports — has helped me develop academically and given me clarity on my career plan. I plan to major in Sport Administration / Pre-Law as an undergraduate and then attend Law School. My intention is to become a Sports Agent.

When I think of the world of automobiles, I see no bigger issue than making sure that people are not driving while intoxicated. When I work with my future athletes as a Sports Agent, I will be sure to make sure they are educated about using Uber/Lyft or designating a sober driver when there is any chance that they might be too intoxicated to drive. You just need a plan before you go out. The costs of drunk driving are simply too high for yourself, and for innocent people who might be harmed.

One of my favorite athletes, former Steeler great Hines Ward, had a DUI charge. He eventually got the DUI charge dropped once he pleaded guilty to reckless driving and was sentenced to probation. As a kid and a fan, I was very disappointed in Mr. Ward. The question I now ask myself is, “Would I want one of my future athlete clients to be imprisoned on the 1st offense?” Ultimately, I would have to say that ‘yes’, that is what is best for our country. According to MADD, there are an average of 29 people killed a day by those driving under the influence, or one person killed every 50 minutes. Each and every one of these deaths is 100% preventable. Since the typical drunk driver has driven drunk roughly 80 times before a first arrest, we cannot wait until they injure an innocent person.

After imprisonment, the perpetrator should be required to get ignition interlock technology installed that will not allow him or her to drive under the influence. I would propose that if the convicted person subsequently has no DUI problems for 7 years, then that record of arrest and imprisonment can be expunged. This gives people a chance to change their ways and not be impacted for life. I would think the embarrassment of arrest and imprisonment would be a strong deterrent against future offenses. Even if their record is expunged, I would advocate that they still should be required to use the ignition interlock, or similar technology, for life.

Hopefully one day technology and politics will make it possible for all cars on the road to have a device that would prevent anyone from driving drunk. Until we reach that goal, offenders should be arrested and imprisoned on the first DUI offense.

For me to fulfill my own dreams of success – and one day driving a Dodge Challenger – I had to learn to manage and excel at my schoolwork. Critical to this journey was challenging myself with as many AP courses as I could possibly take. As a result, I am a winner of the AP Scholar with Distinction Award, given to students who receive an average score of at least 3.5 on all AP Exams taken and scores of 3 or higher on five or more of these exams. I scored a 780 in Math and a 660 in Reading for a total of 1440 on the SAT, placing me in the 98th Percentile (Nationally Representative Sample). Doing well in school and on these tests will allow me to continue to chase my passions for sports and cars.

I also had to learn to handle the challenge of time management outside of school. I completed an internship with Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner’s campaign as a canvasser, and I was promoted to Deputy Field Organizer (an honor achieved by only 3 out of 40 interns). This means that I was driving the 2003 Honda all around the city of Houston to knock on the doors of registered voters. Since I was often in unfamiliar neighborhoods, there wasa premium on avoiding unsafe ‘distracted driving’. Texting while driving and doing other things on your cell phone is just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Completing this internship required me to successfully balance my educational goals with my sports and other activities. That is a lesson that I can carry forward through college, graduate school, and into the future.

So far, I have already been accepted to begin my undergraduate studies at the University of Miami (FL), the University of Texas at San Antonio, Prairie View A&M, the University of Houston, and Wichita State. I plan to major in Sport Administration as an undergraduate. Then I plan to attend law school. My intention is to become a Sports Agent. While this field will keep me close to the sports world that I love, I do have another reason for my interest.

 One issue that I would like to help people avoid in the future would be financial mismanagement, especially pertaining to athletes. Throughout my childhood, my father would always tell me stories of some of the most talented athletes that he ever saw, to later tell me that almost all of them were currently struggling financially or with the criminal justice system (e.g. DUI charges). I have watched documentaries and read articles about how all of these athletes made tens of millions of dollars and were filing for bankruptcy five to ten years after their careers ended. I always thought that these types of financial issues could be easy to avoid if someone could provide sound financial advice and reasoning to athletes about making frivolous purchases.

Overall, participation in sports has taught me how to compete, how to overcome adversity, how to be a team player, and how to win. I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that sports have given me – I wouldn’t be the same person without them. I will work hard to achieve my sports passions in college, law school, and beyond.

In order to achieve this, I will need to secure some additional scholarship and grant money – especially if I attend the University of Miami (my #1 choice) to study Sport Administration. Over the past 4 years, our family has undergone several setbacks with changes in my father’s employment and my mother’s kidney failure and transplant. Those challenges have made it more crucial that I apply for scholarships that are appropriate. Your scholarship will assist me with the challenge of assisting the athletes – my future clients – but by extension their families as well.

Submitted by Joshua Brooks on 04/03/2020

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