By Leila Dycus
The Sorohan family has been carrying out their oldest son Caleb’s legacy of changing people lives since his death in 2009- now a public service announcement tells their story. After speaking at the 2010 National Highway Safety Conference Alex Sorohan was approached by a woman who later she would learn, had begun working for MTV’s It Can Wait Campaign. MTV was looking for young people that had been affected by texting while driving and the woman thought of Alex’s story.
Alex joined 15 other affected teens. Eventually, the list was narrowed down to three and Alex was among the final three. “It was a completely different experience than I’ve ever had,” said Alex. “I’ve been interviewed by news people multiple times but this was so much bigger.”
In July, a crew from MTV arrived at the Sorohan’s home in Rutledge. Alex and her mother Mandi described their first encounter with the crew. The crew wanted to see everything so the family showed them around the house. Their equipment consumed the home filling up their entire living room. Alex went on to describe how the producer and director sat down to interview her before coming up with different scenes to shoot for the PSA.
“I think it was kind of their goal to really get to know us, our family and our story before they even decided what to do,” said Alex. Alex’s brother Caleb was killed in a tragic car accident in 2009. Caleb was home for his winter break from college. He was texting while driving when he swerved lanes hitting another car head on. “I think they had an idea of the theme for it because they knew the work I had done,” said Alex. The work that Alex is referring to is the time after her brother’s death when her family and friends had come together to lobby for a law that would ban texting and driving in the state of Georgia. Caleb’s Law was passed five months after his death. After the law was passed, the Sorohan family turned their attention to bringing awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. Alex and her younger brother Griffin have traveled across the country speaking at schools and conferences.
Alex’s It Can Wait PSA features images of her at the state capital petitioning for the law, as well as scenic shots from Rutledge. The video captures pictures of Caleb, the roadside memorial, and the Sorohan family coming together as Alex encourages people to sign the pledge to not text and drive. “It’s hard to believe that they put that much into making a one minute video,” said Mandi Sorohan. “They were really good at making us feel comfortable.” Mandi described how by the end of the two days, the family felt a tie to the crew. As the crew said their goodbyes each member thanked the family for sharing their story.
“I usually have a hard time liking seeing myself on tv, or hearing myself on a phone interview, but I really enjoyed what they made of it,” said Alex. “I think they picked the absolute most perfect things and put them together in the perfect way. I definitely commend them.”