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Jamie McWilliams

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1 reviews

Review for Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Irving, TX, USA

Rating: 1 stars  

My 20-year old son was killed in April 2002 while leaving a party in a pasture in West Orange County, FL. The 18-year old driver, who had been drinking, ran him over and left the scene. The driver of the vehicle's BAC wasn't taken until 3 1/2 hours after my son's death; the driver's extrapolated BAC was .067. The driver had been on the phone with 911 when he ran my son over, and was clearly slurring his words. While my son had a designated driver that night, he still had been drinking and made a poor choice to walk back to that party. This was followed by the driver's choice to get behind the wheel after he had been drinking, run my son over and leave the scene. I refer to the events leading up to my son's death and the events that followed, as The Domino Effect of Poor Choices.

I contacted MADD right after Justin's death for support and direction. I left so many messages that I can't begin to tell you. I could tell by the questions coming from investigators that they were hesitant to press charges. I had no idea of what I was doing, but I put together my own plan of letter writing to the Governor, Florida Highway Patrol Investigators and the State Attorneys Office seeking justice for my son. I encouraged all friends and families to do the same. However, I was still a crying mess...a grieving mother who was dealing with the death of her first born; help my daughter deal with her only siblings death AND trying to come to terms with the fact that life would NEVER be the same. I finally got a call back from a nice woman with MADD several weeks later. We talked for abit and I asked for MADD's support. I was told by the MADD Representative that she thought I was doing a "fine job by myself." Really?!

I have no use for MADD, as when I needed them, they were no place to be found. Charges against the 18-year old driver were ultimately filed and dismissed because of a loophole in the Florida Statutes and this 18-year old walked away without consequence. In an effort to get some type of justice for my son, as well as the next family of a hit and run driver, I went on to change the Florida Law in his memory (The Justin McWilliams Act) and in July 2009 formed Parents Encouraging Confident Choices, a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit Organization dedicated to the education of our young people on making confident and responsible choices. I go into middle schools and high schools and hold speaking events not only educating our young people on the dangers of underage drinking; drinking and driving; driving with an impaired driver and taking illegal substances...but also other poor choices that include prescription drug abuse; bullying; inappropriate use of the Internet/Cell Phone; texting while driving; sexting; street racing and car surfing.

Honestly, as the President and CEO of my own Non-Profit, and knowing how hard that I work ...I can not comprehend how the CEO of this Organization can in good faith and in good conscience take a paycheck for a quarter of a million dollars a year when his Organization stays in the red.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

What is unique about this organization?

It was the most unique Organization of it's kind when it was originally formed. Everyone knew MADD ...saw MADD...and supported MADD. Then, it became more politically inclined...getting away from it's roots involving helping the victims and their families of alcohol related crashes. Of course when a company goes in a more politically motivated direction, they then require someone that is just as politically inclined in the top position.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2002

Role:  Professional with expertise in this field & I decided long ago that if I was going to start a Non-Profit to educate our young people, I was going to offer all that I could to our youth and their families in an effort to help our young people make better choices than those choices that were made the.