Hialeah Gardens, Florida,
16
August
2016
|
03:00 PM
America/Chicago

Driven to Inspire

Teen girl loses her twin in car crash, encourages others to be safe drivers

On a gorgeous August afternoon, the day after her 18th birthday, Mairin made a choice to ride home from the mall in a car driven by her boyfriend. He lost control of his car, traveling at more than 110 mph, and hit an oncoming vehicle.

Mairin didn’t speak up for herself; she didn’t stop him from speeding. Her boyfriend walked away from the crash. She didn’t.

Cara Filler, Mairin’s identical twin sister, was in the car behind them. She watched her twin sister, her best friend, die.

That experience ended Mairin’s life and changed Cara’s forever. Since that day, Cara has committed her life to teaching young people that everyday choices count.

“I’m sick and tired of car crashes being the number one killer of youth. Car crashes are preventable,” says Cara. “I want students to realize they don’t have to become a statistic. They can speak up for themselves and their friends in any situation, and maybe by, sharing my story, they will.”

“Cara’s presentation has influenced me in a way that I can feel free to let go of the pain and anger” says Christina Lorenzo, senior at Hialeah Gardens High. “My father had a choice to either get into a boat with his drunk friends or not.”

“There was a fight on the boat resulting in my dad getting thrown overboard and drowning. My dad made the wrong choice,” Christina continued. “I realized now I can also help inspire others to make the right choices by sharing my story.”

Cara is met with a similar reaction after every school presentation. She says she’s part of a club no one should ever want to join — the “I lost somebody I care about” club — and her words have prevented other students from joining that group by teaching them that they always have a choice.

“Her story really hit home,” says Victoria Segovia, senior at Hialeah Gardens High. “My boyfriend sometimes drives fast while I’m in the car. I tell him to slow down. He doesn’t listen to me. After hearing Cara story today, I now know I can speak up. I don’t have to be in the car if he wants to drive fast. I’ll get out of the car and walk home if I have to.”

Speaking at more than 2,100 school assemblies across the world, Cara has empowered over 2 million students to stand up for themselves, their friends, and their beliefs. Her heartwarming, honest and at times hilarious presentation, has changed and saved lives for over two decades.

Most students will remember her for a little dance she performs that may save their lives.

To combat the epidemic killing American teens, Cara founded the Drive to Save Lives Tour, North America’s number one resource for prevention speakers. Like Cara, their mission is to help spread positive messages that put the brakes on the loss of teen lives due to destructive decisions.