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Springfield Student’s Essay on Texting and Driving Earns Top Honor

Statewide Essay Winner Dominique King and her son
Statewide essay winner Dominique King and her son Kieran [Photo credit: Dominique King ]

Dominique King says she was presented the opportunity to participate in the contest, titled It Can Wait, by one of her teacher’s at Study Alternative High School. 

“Well I hate texting and driving probably like a lot of other people and I feel really strongly about the subject so it would be easy to write about,” King said.

The essay contest was sponsored by Missouri newspapers, the Missouri Press Association and AT&T Missouri. Nearly 30 newspapers throughout the state solicited contest entries.

“A child will never be the same. A child is now without a mother. This is the price you could pay for a simple text containing “Oh my gosh!” “Ily2” or even an emoji…… It can wait. It can always wait,” read a portion of the essay.

King, who has a two-year-old son, started her essay with a fictional story about a child and mother who get into a car accident in hopes of discouraging texting behind the wheel.

“Honestly, that’s the first thing I think of anytime anyone is talking about drunk driving, texting and driving; anything I always think that you could hurt a child it’s always my first thought.”

King will receive the $500 first place prize during an event at the Missouri Press Association headquarters Nov. 19, in Columbia.

Her day will include a tour of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and dinner with officials from the News-Leader, AT&T and MPA.

With hopes to become an author one day, King says she’s excited to see what the school is like, and what her essay could teach others.

“Well I just hope that texting and driving will become less of an issue as time goes on and before more and more tragedies happen, because obviously there have been a lot of accidents because of it,” King said.

For KSMU News, I’m Briana Simmons.