We are pleased to announce Clara Lerchi as this year’s winner of the Ridgefield Prevention Council (RPC) Save One scholarship. Clara received the award at last week’s Ridgefield High School Awards Ceremony. Each year RPC awards one $1,000 scholarship to an RHS senior. Students submit a short essay describing how an action they took saved one person from engaging in a risky behavior. Since starting the Save One Scholarship program, RPC has heard poignant stories of how Ridgefield students have made a difference by taking action. Examples have included teens helping a friend contemplating suicide to get immediate help, helping a friend turn away from alcohol as a dangerous way to calm anxiety, and participation in SafeRides.
The Save One scholarship is in tribute to Michael Plunkett, an RHS junior who lost his life as a passenger in an auto accident in 2005. The driver of the vehicle was later convicted of driving while ability impaired. Michael had a black book of his sketches that he carried around. One of those sketches was the words “Save One” in a graffiti-type treatment. His family, and the Dighton family in Ridgefield, preserve his memory by acknowledging the work of individuals to save another. His aunt, Susan Ahlstrom Dighton, was a longtime member of the Ridgefield Prevention Council until 2015.