Dear BRVGS Senior Advisor Committee:

My name is Jessica Roman and I am a senior at William Monroe High School.  I have been a member of Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School since freshman year.  I am an athlete and an honor roll student.  I also work at a restaurant in Charlottesville, and I drive down Route 29 every day.  The lack of driving ability in the area, especially on that road, is alarming to me.  In researching some local driving statistics, I found that drivers between the ages of 15 and 24 account for 30% of accidents in the Virginia.  To begin my senior project, I decided to look into Virginia’s driver education programs and see what can be done to lower this number. 

In talking with my school’s driver education teacher, Tom Hoffman, along with Albemarle High School’s teacher, Richard Wharam, I found that a majority of the teaching lies on the parents of the young drivers.  Mr. Wharam hosts a mandatory parent seminar at his high school to teach kids’ parents about the importance of proper driver education.  These types of seminars are required by law in five northern Virginia counties, and Mr. Hoffman informed me that he is working to start one here at William Monroe.  For my community service project, I will work with Mr. Wharam and Mr. Hoffman to start a parent seminar at Monroe and make it mandatory as it is in several other counties.  We plan to advertise on the school video announcements and bulletin boards to inform kids about the seminar.  I am also making flyers to give to the driver education students so that their parents will read about the seminar as well.  Once the seminar is set up, Mr. Hoffman will work with the local police stations and insurance companies to continue it.  Our first seminar is scheduled for November 9th, and we plan to host another sometime this spring.  Mr. Hoffman’s email is thoffman@greenecountyschools.com, and he can be reached at the school at 434 985 5273.

I also wanted to get a feel for the enforcement side of Virginia’s laws, so I went to the Greene County Police Department to talk to Major Snead.  He set me up for several dates, starting October 18th, to ride with a deputy on traffic stops and emergency calls.  This will be my internship portion of my project, and I hope to find out about more ways to help prevent teen accidents.  Major Snead will be my mentor.  His email is rsnead@gcvasheriff.us, and his phone number is 434 985 8682 ext. 202.

I am excited about learning and researching about effective teen driver education strategies and programs.  My project will be appropriately titled “Effective Driver’s Education.”  I will research and write my paper on the problems with today’s driver education and possible solutions to these problems.  I have read and agreed to the BRVGS Code of Conduct, and I understand the consequences for breaking it. 


Jessica L. Roman