The Lee County Tax Collector (LCTC) is excited to announce the winners of the 2021 Rock the Road Challenge. Owen Pelegrino from Cape Coral High School and Colton Rimes from Fort Myers High School took home top honors in the competition, which sought the best first-time student drivers in Lee County.
Both top finishers earned $1,000 scholarships from event sponsors Dawn and Mike Sullivan at Sullivan State Farm Insurance Agencies in Cape Coral. Competition finalists Brayden Fairchild of Bishop Verot High School and Steven Hill of Riverdale High School both earned $250 scholarships from Brian Rist at Storm Smart.
The event finals were held on March 27 at Miromar Outlets as part of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Teen Driver Challenge. Finalists completed a series of driving exercises, including navigating a serpentine course forward and in reverse, a figure eight, backing and cornering, evasive maneuvers, and emergency braking.
“This last year has been especially challenging for student drivers, with the postponement and cancellation of many traditional driver education programs,” said Noelle Branning, Lee County Tax Collector and a judge of the Rock the Road Challenge finals. “I was thrilled to see the outstanding driving skills that these students exhibited during the competition.”
The four finalists moved on to this final contest after earning high scores in the preliminary competitions conducted by LCTC at LeeTran in January and February. The preliminary rounds were judged by driving instructors and videos of each competitor can be viewed on the LCTC Instagram page @leecountytaxcollector.
In all, 43 applications were received from 17 Lee County high schools. One student from each high school was selected at random to participate. Nine students participated in the competition.
The Rock the Road Challenge is one of several community projects of the Lee County Tax Collector’s office. Other initiatives include Kids Tag Art, which helps fund art education and honors student creativity, and the Tree of Life, a permanent visual dedication to organ, tissue and eye donors. Visit www.leetc.com to learn more about the Lee County Tax Collector.