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MIDDLETOWN, NY – Sobo & Sobo, LLP. today announced Ariana Nieves from Liberty High School as the first place winner of the 2020 Annual Sobo & Sobo Scholarship Contest from among entries from schools throughout the Greater Hudson Valley and New York City. Due to social distance requirements the local receptions at which all winners were to be recognized were cancelled.
Following an online application process, which included an essay exploring the implications of technology on personal injury, finalists from over 35 schools in five counties were selected for what were intended to be in-person interviews.

Due to social distance requirements interviews were moved to Zoom and the local receptions at which all winners were to be recognized were cancelled and a PR effort established to properly celebrate our next generation.

Greg Sobo, managing partner, noted that, “We were thrilled by the caliber of entries we received and humbled by the volume of interest in our scholarship. The depth of passion, ingenuity and overall potential for this next generation is truly heartening.”

The committee reviewed each application individually to determine the scholarship recipients. Arianna Nieves from Liberty High School stood out both in print and in her interview, and was unanimously chosen for first place in the 2020 Annual Sobo & Sobo Scholarship Contest and will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship to use towards her freshman year of college.

Her exceptional essay utilizes carefully selected data to paint a vivid picture of the dangers of technology, prompting readers to strongly consider one’s personal choices. Arianna shares, “when a driver is sending or receiving a text it takes their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. If that person is driving at a speed limit of 55mph that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field completely blind.” The visual becomes even more compelling when she ties it to the statistic that two of the three million people who are involved in car crashes each year “acquire permanent injuries that will affect them for the rest of their lives.” She expresses no judgement. She shares facts. Clear, undeniable facts.

Runners up Naomi Hernandez and William Swift shared thoughts regarding the connection between distractions from technology and motor vehícle accidents as well.

William Swift looked beyond the way people use technology, considering how technology impacts us physically including the damage caused by blue light on sleep patterns. “Blue light produced by cell phones affects the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep patterns in humans. Using electronics such as cell phones at night changes the natural circadian rhythms in the body, leading to sleep deprivation and disruption. Adding to the risk of personal injury that comes with cell phone use, the NHTSA also estimates that 20% of car crashes are due to drowsiness or falling asleep at the wheel.”

Naomi shares, “If one uses his or her phone while driving, they are automatically at four times the risk of crashing their car…What is impressive is both Naomi’s insightful observation, “Technology creates problems and solutions equally” and her attempt to actually identify solutions to the problem of driving distractions including, “the implementation of more speeding cameras or hands-free devices for drivers.”

Please help us to get these students the recognition they deserve (announced earlier this week):

Runners Up:

  • Naomi Hernandez Minisink High School
  • William Swift Arlington High School

Third Place:

  • Erin Catherine Boyle Pine Bush High School
  • Sindi Daci Herbert H Lehman High School
  • Jonathan Andrew Vargas Warwick Valley Central School District

Honorable Mentions:

  • Emma-Victoria Banos Bronx High School of Science
  • Tiana Hewitt Chester Academy
  • Kobe Zagon Cornwall Senior High School
  • Abbey McFeely Delaware Valley High School
  • Jasmine Shiffer Ellenville High School
  • Tiffanie Roye Ethical Culture Fieldston School
  • Myra Arif Goshen Central High School
  • Isabella Fiorese Highland High School
  • Holden Lee John S. Burke Catholic High School
  • Morgan Juric Kingston High School
  • Dorlyn Valencia Liberty High School
  • Jacob Pasquale Livingston Manor Central School
  • Isabella Clark Marlboro High School
  • Halie Every Millbrook High School
  • Krystal Dixon Minisink Valley High School
  • James Anyansi Mount St. Michael Academy
  • Meredith Lee Nanuet Senior High School
  • Brandon Beharry New Rochelle high School
  • Morgan Stroud Newburgh Free Academy PTech
  • Ashley Vanhouten Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus
  • Anayah Desir Newburgh Free Academy North Campus
  • Kaelyn Serra North Rockland High School
  • Zuri Chrispin Nyack High School
  • Jake Pagano Our Lady of Lourdes
  • Katreana Bellew Pearl River High School
  • Francis Mazzella Pine Bush High School
  • Clarissa Hill Port Jervis High School
  • Zoe White Poughkeepsie High School
  • Anna Marcotte Red Hook High School
  • Kara Hogan Rondout Valley High School
  • Grace O’Sullivan Spring Valley High School
  • Benjamin Reeve Sullivan West High School
  • Joseph Grammatica Tappan Zee High School
  • Andrea Decker Tri-Valley CSD
  • Sophie Steger Valley Central High School
  • Alison Gerow Wallkill Senior High School
  • Natalie Daigle Warwick valley high School
  • Vincent Gennaro Washingtonville High School

About Sobo & Sobo LLP

The Law Offices of Sobo & Sobo, one of the largest plaintiff’s personal injury firms in the country, is driven by a commitment to superior service and world-class representation. For over 50 years, with over 45 attorneys. Sobo & Sobo has built a reputation for winning cases for personal injury clients, and supporting those who are hurting with empathy. For more information, visit www.sobolaw.com or call 1-855-GOT-SOBO.

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