Bridget Cain with Shira and YossiWhen Bridget Cain got a call into the principal’s office, she froze. “I didn’t know what I did wrong – I was so worried!” Bridget recounted her story to the Director of Project SAFE, Shira Berkowitz and to Project SAFE’s Associate Director of Special Programs, Yossi Sirote. When Bridget found out that she was actually summoned to receive the news that she’d won the Middle Division First Place Prize, a MacBook Air, for the Project SAFE Ad Contest, she was elated!
Bridget was not alone in her excitement. Indeed, all around the 3 participating schools: Magen David Yeshivah, The Yeshivah of Flatbush, and Hillel Yeshiva, students were in abuzz in early April with talk about the ads and the winners of the contest.

The contest began at the end of February, when The SAFE Foundation’s Project SAFE invited 6th-12th graders to compose a powerful and creative ad reflecting a message they had learned in SAFE class. Topics were: substance abuse, addiction, gambling, internet safety, healthy relationships, peer pressure, body image and self-esteem.Twelfth grader, Abie Tawil was the High School First Place Winner.  He said that the ad he created on Photoshop was inspired by a video he saw in SAFE class about the dangers of gambling. From the video, he learned that at the end of the day, the odds are truly not in your favor. Abie said, “I realized that people don’t realize the dangers associated with gambling as much as they are aware of the problems connected to other addictions.  I felt that more awareness was needed about this topic. When I found out that I won, I was really excited, not just about winning the MacBook Air, which is awesome, but also because my message came across, and because my attempt to spread this awareness was a success. I was so happy that my hard work was appreciated and it was for a worthy cause!”

One parent wrote to SAFE saying, “It was really great to see my kids and their friends work on their ads for the contest. All of the kids were scrambling before the deadline to spell out their ideas. It was such a fantastic idea to have this contest, because it created so much awareness.”

One of the SAFE teachers said, “When we were going through the contest ads, one of the winning entries sparked a lot of amazing on-the-spot conversation about internet safety. This was another great benefit of the contest.”

He continued, “I also noticed that students who usually don’t get involved in projects were coming out of the woodwork to participate. It was great to see!”

In addition to the two top winners, 6 Runners-up each won a $100 Amazon Gift Card and ten students received Honorable Mention Certificates. All of these ads were posted on SAFE’s blog, Facebook, and Instagram, with parents, students, and onlookers enthusiastically liking and commenting on the posts, adding to the contest hype.

To see the students’ winning ads, please click onto the Project SAFE Ad Contest on this website.

A special thank you to The Gindi Family for sponsoring the contest in memory of their father and grandfather, Sonny I. Gindi, a”h.