Rowan Carey stood in stunned silence after learning he won a new car at the 13th annual Wyatt Johnson Automotive Pass and Go event. Carey, a Northeast High School junior, was speechless after his key started the Hyundai Accent on Sat., Aug. 7. “I’m just shocked. I didn’t expect anything,” he said.
There were over 600 CMCSS high school students who qualified for the event, hosted by the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation. Carey was randomly selected as the ultimate winner.
“I’m still processing everything. The fact that I actually won a car, I don’t know what to think,” he said. Carey took one AP test as a sophomore last year, which qualified him for the annual event.
Each year, CMCSS sophomore, junior, and senior students who have passed their AP exams with a 3, 4, or 5 are invited to participate in Pass & Go. Students receive numbered tickets and are eligible for prizes ranging from gas cards to a brand new car.
The grand prize winner had the choice between a brand new 2021 Hyundai Accent or a 2021 Kia Rio. “It is very important for this company to give back to education,” said Senator Bill Powers. Powers has been actively involved since the creation of the event 13 years ago. He has been a strong community advocate ever since. “I appreciate everybody and their hard work.”
Over 25 students walked away from the day with various prizes, including gift cards to Domino’s Pizza, gas cards from Beach Oil, a Google Chromebook, an iPad, and Apple AirPods.
“Our goal as a district is to encourage students to reach their potential. Academically, we want students to push themselves and try something new,” said Dr. Angela Huff, Interim Director of Schools. “For some, the Advanced Placement tests help them achieve this goal.”
While the event was held virtually last year, many students expressed appreciation that they could participate in the in-person event.
The win was bittersweet for Carey, an active-duty military dependent. This was his last day in Clarksville, as his family is moving out of state. “I’ve been here since kindergarten, but we’re excited to see what this new year will bring.”
Carey encouraged other high school students to consider trying for the AP exams. “Just do it,” he said. “Sometimes people think [the tests] are much harder than they actually are. If you just go with it, stick with it, study, and do what you’re supposed to, then you’ll do well.”