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State Honoree

Nicholas Hoff

New Hampshire

Nicholas Hoff, 18, of Hollis, N.H., a senior at St. Paul’s School in Concord, worked with MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and the New Hampshire Teen Institute to pass laws lowering the federal drunk-driving standard for blood alcohol levels to .08%. After a series of teen-related drunken-driving accidents, including one in which a close friend lost a leg, Nick knew something had to be done. “MADD had been trying for three years to get a federal law establishing .08% as a national drunk-driving standard,” he said. “I wanted to help them succeed.” Nick researched alcohol-related accidents, statistics and national reports on the effect of drunk driving. Summer school courses helped him learn about government, politics and public speaking. He then became a New Hampshire delegate to the MADD National Youth Summit, volunteered with the state’s Teen Institute, and went to work broadcasting public service announcements on his WSPS radio show, giving presentations, lobbying politicians, and speaking to members of the National Press Club. “When the announcement came that the law was passed, I was in a big hall with all the other summit delegates,” Nick remembered. “Sharing that victory was great. What I hadn’t expected was how much my service to other people would also leave me an improved person, too.”