Jenna Kinsey, 11, is making a statement around Fort Bragg by bringing awareness to issues of drinking and driving. She has received the Girls Scout Bronze Award for her efforts on her project, “Think of Me B4 You Turn the Key (How do I prevent Drunk Driving on Fort Bragg?).”
The Bronze Award is the highest honor a Girl Scout Junior can achieve. Kinsey started her mission over a year ago due to the loss of her friend, Ella Formby, who was killed by a repeated drunk driver.
The Formby Family was driving home one night after dinner when a drunk driver smashed into their car at a high speed causing the car to spin out of control and crash into trees along the highway.
The Family was taken to the hospital and although Formby’s injuries seemed to be minor, after time passed, she had complications from internal bleeding. Formby passed away later at the hospital on February 4, 2013.
“If you have a drink, have a plan, that needs to be the message,” Julie Formby, Ella’s mother, said.
“Ella who was 5 was really interested in going to Sunday school. If my husband and I were feeling lazy and did not want to go to church, Ella would get us set straight real quick and say she couldn’t miss church. That is why we memorialized her through Ella’s Light Children’s Ministry,” Formby said.
In her honor, Kinsey has created a project that tells the story of Formby’s life and brings awareness to the issue of drinking and driving. She created a poster board with in-depth research on the statistics for Fort Bragg drinking and driving cases. In addition, she sheds light on this problem so the number of incidents each year will decrease.
The project breaks down who, when, where and statistics on which military personnel has had the highest risks for drinking and drinking on base. Her research also shows the recorded BAC, blood-alcohol content, on base.
Kinsey also wrote a letter that explains the motivation behind her “Think of Me B4 You Turn the Key” project.
She gave her presentation at the Garrison Command in front of her Family and Justin Mitchell, Deputy Garrison Commander. After the presentation she was awarded the Fort Bragg 100th year anniversary coin.
“I feel really honored because I’ve never gotten this award. I am just super happy, honored and excited. My goal from now on is to serve the community and I got this coin, so I want to keep doing more,” Kinsey said.
Kinsey’s mother, Brittany Flather, also received the Garrison coin from Command for her support of Kinsey in her aspirations.
“I am so proud of her. This is a great start for her. She worked hard to get this bronze award which sets her up to get the Gold award (Girl Scout). This sets her up for college but also for her to tell Ella’s story,” Flather said.
Fort Bragg promotes programs and campaigns on the installation that show the importance of knowing the consequences of drinking and driving.
“Prevention is one of the biggest things we do,” said Mitchell. “We have trainers from our Alcohol Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) where we go teach prevention programs to Soldiers the alternatives to driving if they choose to drink. For instance, always have a designated driver, and to make sure they know the option between Uber, friends and units.”
Gate guards are also trained to be aware of any issues when it comes to drinking and driving. They are trained to smell alcohol and to assess any situation that needs MP’s investigation.
For more information on Ella Formby’s, story visit www.ellaslight.org