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Hard Earned Cash

Contests usually have chances of money prizes, right? How many contests have you entered or won? Maybe a couple, maybe one, maybe none. Sometimes these contests even seem fake, like there's no way there's actually a reward for entering. But when SADD puts out contests, there is almost always actual money and incentives behind it. I speak from personal experience.


Last year, I joined a contest put out by SADD and NIAAA. It was based on drunk driving and substance use prevention. My mom introduced it to me at first. I was just sitting in my room when suddenly she came in. She told me the details, alongside the possible money prizes. To be honest, I wasn’t too eager to join. I lacked motivation, and at the time I was stuck in an art block that didn't make things easier. I have an average YouTube channel, posting videos every now and then of personal projects. So when I heard about the creative freedom that I had with this SADD contest, I knew then the ideas would come pretty easily.


I created my characters and found the statistics and information I wanted to include. Once everything was set up, I just had to record it and clean it up. I went through multiple trials of the making, fixing the positioning of the text, and making it longer, but once it was all done, I created a quick side-channel to post it on, and it was all finished! After waiting for a while, days after the due date, my mom and I were getting worried. The winners weren’t posted and we were unsure if I had won, but we kept waiting and checking our emails.


Eventually, the winners were announced, and I had won one of the top prizes. I was ecstatic! We got sent a couple of things from the billing company, and I set out to claim my $1,500. We filled out the forms, sent them back, and waited some more. A day or two later, I was again sitting in my room when my mom came in. She grinned and handed me a nicely sealed envelope. I read the back; it was from SADD and the billing company. Opening it up, I pulled out the paper inside which contained the check of my earned money. I still have not used this money, but I would think that keeping it in my bank account for now isn’t such a bad thing.


I get it: lack of motivation, other things to do, and general unwillingness are all valid feelings. I struggled with these, and after getting past that, I came out of the contest $1500 richer than I started. Of course, you don't have to participate in all of the contests that SADD posts, but even just entering a couple will increase your chances of winning substantially. I joined with a relatively quick video, wasn’t very grueling, and a hope of winning. With the minimal effort needed, I would say the small act was worth it.


SADD needs more students like us to participate in these things, or it'll be hard to run contests with prize money in the future. And who knows? Maybe you’ll win some money too!


For current contests and scholarship info, check back on the Events & Opportunities page often, and be sure to register as a MySADD member/subscribe to get the newsletters. SADD always posts new opportunities to earn cash and prizes there!

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