Leo McCarthy is offering teens money not to drink. McCarthy lost his 14-year-old daughter, Mariah, five years ago, when a 20-year-old drunk driver hit her and two friends as they walked down the sidewalk in Butte, Montana. But he turned tragedy into triumph when, at Mariah’s funeral, he offered teens this challenge:
“If you stick with me for four years — don’t use alcohol, don’t use illicit drugs, but give back to your community, work with your parents, and talk to your parents, I’ll be there with a bunch of other people to give you money.”
McCarthy honored his promise, and along with Jimm Kilmer and Chad Okrush — the fathers of Mariah’s two friends who survived the accident — he has given over 140 $1,000 scholarships to Butte teens that have accepted the challenge, known as “Mariah’s Challenge,” over the years.
To participate, teens can head over to Mariah’s Challenge and sign a pledge not to drink until they are 21, and to never get into a car with someone who has been drinking. High school seniors who have not been convicted of underage possession are eligible to submit a $1,000 scholarship application.
In the spirit of not drinking and driving, check out this awesome old-school Stevie Wonder PSA. Oh, the gems we find on YouTube!
Take Mariah's Challenge
Pledge to not drink until you're 21 and learn more about how you can support Mariah's Challenge.
Want to know how much you're really drinking? Check out NIAAA's drink calculator to see where you stand.