It happens every June, and every June it is cause for celebration.

The Ridgefield Prevention Council celebrates this class of amazing RHS seniors for their many accomplishments as students, musicians, writers, athletes, volunteers, friends and community members.

As a community organization with a goal to reduce risky behaviors, the RPC particularly recognizes and applauds those seniors who are making good decisions about substance use themselves and also supporting their peers in making good decisions. We recognize that this is not always easy to do, especially in the face of peer and cultural influences.

The RPC recently assisted SRMS to organize a program where a panel of RHS students, including many seniors, spoke to eighth-grade students. The goal of the panel was to demystify the high school experience. The RHS students explained what high school life is all about and answered the many questions the eighth-grade students posed. The panel was very impressive in their thoughtful, insightful advice. Here are some examples of their answers: making the best decisions can be hard, keep in mind who you are as a person; choose friends you are comfortable saying no to and know that with all the things you do, you have choices. We thank the RHS seniors and the whole panel for sharing their time and wisdom.

The RPC works closely with First Selectman Rudy Marconi in efforts to support Ridgefield youth and keep them safe. We asked him what he would say to the Class of 2017 and here it is: “Congratulations to the Class of 2017. We are proud of all of you and appreciate your efforts at RHS. Be well and make good decisions.”

The RPC echoes those sentiments, and wishes all RHS seniors a wonderful, fun and safe graduation season, and summer season. As all of you head off into the world, the love and support of the Ridgefield community goes with you.

For more information contact: coalition@ridgefieldct.org, 203-431-1893, facebook.com/ridgefieldpreventioncouncil or ridgefieldpreventioncouncil.org.