Bennington’s Malaina Giacoletto – KDOT Drive to Zero Student of the Month

In only her freshman year, Bennington High School’s Malaina Giacoletto is making an impact in her fellow students by participating in the Safe Program at school. The SAFE program is a teen-run, peer-to-peer program focusing on increasing teen restraint compliance through education, positive rewards and enforcement. Malaina said she loves the message it sends to her classmates.

“I love the message it sends, and the group activities we do together. I’m glad that me and my classmates are able to make an impact,” said Giacoletto.

Also a track and cross-country runner, Giacoletto isn’t just an athlete, she’s also an academic. Giacoletto is a member of the Scholar’s Bowl team and loves representing Bennington. The Safe Program is another avenue Giacoletto uses to meet more of her classmates and spread the word about seatbelt safety. 

“The Safe program is in my opinion something really important in a few different ways. First and foremost, unsafe driving in teens and adults is something we should all be concerned about. Focusing on the road without distractions and buckling up is something so simple that we could all do that can help avoid the worst,” said Giacoletto. “Not just that, but as a passenger reminding the driver that they should focus on the road. It makes a big difference. It also helps Safe members to get to know each other better and make new friends.” 

Giacoletto said if someone was interested in being part of the Safe program at Bennington or any other school, they should commit and help make our roads safe and keep our drivers and passengers safe. 

“If someone was to want to join Safe, I would tell them to commit to the cause. Don’t join just to socialize. While that is a part of it, you shouldn’t join just for that. Really put in effort to go to the activities, and make sure your heart is in the right place. It’s an easy way to make an impact on the community without having to sacrifice school time,” said Giacoletto. 

When her time in high school is complete, her plans are to go to college and pursue a degree in either graphic are or mental health counseling. When she not making the roads a safer place or competing in sports, you can usually find her drawing, playing various instruments and practicing archery.