PROJECT 111

Executive Director Sarah Schieber founded the program with the help of the city police chief five years ago. Her late husband came up with the idea after working with students and new drivers for several years, wanting to inspire them to be aware of their driving skills. Sports Editor Katie Gibbs / Staff Writer Abbey Brooks.

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While sitting on the bleachers at a home football game, Sarah Schieber, Executive Director of Project 111, was moved to tears after overhearing a conversation between two teenagers in the row behind her. They were reflecting on their good driving skills and how they wanted to win some incentives the program offers students with clean driving records, some of which include an Apple watch and a $300 LuLuLemon giftcard. It was through this experience that Scheiber knew the program her late husband had dreamt of launching is coming true.

Chad Scheiber, a Midland policeman for 14 years, passed away in October of 2007 while running a marathon. During his time on the force, Chad had developed the concept he referred to as a “safe driving movement” that would motivate young drivers to be aware of their actions and choices while on the road, so they would be more likely to perform safe driving.

“Chad had been so passionate about what he called a safe driving movement,” Sarah said. “That was his dream. He had completely developed the concept and the ideas but he could never get it off the ground.”

The program was launched five years ago after Sarah went to the city’s police chief with the idea. They both felt that this was something needed in the high schools. Together they set up a board of directors, who decided to name the program after Chad’s badge number.

“They wanted to keep Chad’s legacy and his memory alive through this program,” Sarah said. “The board of directors felt it was really important for Chad to be a part of it and that was how they did it.”

Members of the board worked together to promote and expand the program, along with educating students safe driving. School resource officer Eddie Hinson has been a part of the project for a year and a half, and said he’s seen many benefits stern from the program.

“The biggest (benefit) as an officer is being able to hand out something to a student that is positive,” Hinson said. “I’m always dealing with negative stuff at school so it’s really cool to have something that’s positive.”

Sarah said she has also seen a lot of benefits come from the program, especially the way it has brought the topic of safe driving into discussion for teenagers.

“[The incentives] give us a voice to be heard, they get teenagers attention, and we then can come behind and teach what good driving looks like,” Sarah said.

In recent years, Midland High’s leadership programs have taken part in bringing awareness to Project 111. Senior Jacob Maschino aids Sarah with educating students on the purpose of the project.

He helps with organizing events and activities, and thinks the program is getting students’ attention, but hopes that more will begin to see the purpose behind the project. “I would like to see more of the student body take safe driving more seriously, and to see the dangers [of unsafe driving],” Maschino said.

Sarah said the next step for the program is making more students aware of the program, and hopes to do that with the help of social media. She wants to expand the project to other schools outside of Midland by making it a statewide and then national program.

Sarah is excited about the progress they’ve made with educating teenagers on the importance of safe driving, and wants to continue to have the same impact on future drivers to come.

“[Project 111 is] making safe driving part of the everyday culture within the high school’s that it exists in,” Sarah said. “We have got teenagers talking about safe driving in a way that they never have before.”