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Lutzie 43
September 7, 2023

Categories: 43 Key Seconds ,PFL Scholarship ,Philip Lutzenkirchen

Meet Mark Rowell, a 2023 PFL Scholarship Winner

My name is Mark Rowell, and I am humbled to be named one of the 2023 recipients for The Lutzie 43 Foundation Prepared For Life (PFL) Scholarship

I first learned about Philip Lutzenkirchen when I was still in elementary school and attended football games at nearby Lassiter High School. I have three older siblings who attended LHS years after Philip had graduated, and they told me about the tragedy of his untimely death. For someone so young, Philip certainly packed many accomplishments and positive influence into his much-too-short twenty-three years. The ways he is remembered surely must be of comfort to his strong and proud family. Despite their grief and loss, I honor the Lutzenkirchen family for making the brave choice to publicly discuss the circumstances of Philip’s death in order to increase awareness of the dangers of distracted, impaired and unsafe driving. Their honesty and openness about such a painful journey have certainly resulted in an uncountable number of others’ longevity, as well as a better understanding of how Philip lived his life with intention and higher purpose.

I am grateful for all I learned from the Safeguarding Your Legacy curriculum during the PFL Scholarship application process. I highly encourage everyone to take time to learn online about the prevalence of distracted, impaired and unsafe driving, because I found the instruction interesting and the time investment worthwhile! Some of the statistics really opened my eyes to the enormity of the problem, even after having completed a drivers’ education program in the ninth grade. For example, it is staggering to think about how each day, eleven people will die and more than one thousand will be injured, as a result of unsafe driving conduct. The losses to each of the families are devastating and life-changing. The antidotes to this problem are education, awareness, communication, and commitment; change is only possible when drivers are equipped with the knowledge to make smart decisions, each day, and every time they prepare to operate a vehicle.

I am happy to be selected for this collaborative opportunity to “help other people at all times”. After completing the Lutzie 43 Safeguarding Your Legacy curriculum, I was moved to learn about the many ways Philip helped other people. As an Eagle Scout, I have committed to uphold honorable attributes which make me worthy of the highest Boy Scout Rank, and most are similarly outlined within the Lutzie 43 Curriculum. I have made lifelong pledges which I take seriously and follow in my daily life. Service to others is an integral part of my Christian faith and my Scouting character, so I am enthusiastic about supporting The Lutzie 43 Foundation objectives after I graduate from Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia. 

I have signed The 43 Key Seconds Safe Driving Pledge, and I hope you will too. I have made a promise to pass along the messages about eliminating distractions, buckling up, obeying laws, and the dangers of consuming alcohol and/or drugs before driving. Young people need reminders and support to stay vigilant about their safety, and the safety of their passengers. This is why the physical 43 Key Seconds key is such a good reminder and an effective tool of suggestion. Also important is that every young driver who applies this checklist of decision-making has the power to influence their friends and peers to do the same; this cannot be overstated. It takes courage to make the right calls, especially in front of one’s peers. Once the evaluative steps become a habit, the young driver is demonstrating maturity and concern for others to protect the gifts of one’s own life, the passengers’, and those on the road.

I am currently in my undergraduate engineering studies at Mercer University in Macon, so I hope to be out and about in South Georgia assisting the Lutzie 43 Foundation, and wherever else duty calls. I will do my part to inform beginners and other young drivers with practical knowledge about their road safety responsibilities. Philip’s death teaches us that the unintended consequences from only one misguided situation, and a very ordinary one, were regrettable but permanent.  To honor his memory, I am grateful for the privilege to discuss why it is compelling and essential to “Live Like Lutz, Love Like Lutz, and Learn From Lutz”. From my own personal childhood experiences, I am well-aware of the difficulties alcohol abuse can force into others’ lives. These have taught me to avoid risky behavior, and I am firm in my commitment to never drive while compromised and chance the destruction which might result.

The creation of the Lutzie 43 Foundation underscores the Lutzenkirchen Family’s dedication to the prevention of distracted, impaired and unsafe driving and the unnecessary loss of lives. I am very honored to be selected as one of the 2023 PFL Scholarship Class so I can support their efforts towards these important aims. The 43 Key Seconds Safe Driving Checklist is applicable for drivers of every age, so imagine how powerful this intentionality could be if every driver applies it for an entire lifetime! So my request is, “Let’s all give that a try!” In Scouting, we would say, “Be prepared,….and do a good turn daily.”