BASKING RIDGE, NJ - The Ridge Alumni Memorial Scholarship is a scholarship given to deserving graduates of RHS who show exemplary character, a positive outlook despite facing adversity, as well as personal growth. The 2015 scholarship is a $10,000 award to a senior.
“When we started the Ridge [Alumni Memorial Scholarship] about nine years ago, we looked nationwide for a model to copy and couldn't find anything quite like what we wanted to do: a website with a virtual memorial that would invite contributions to a scholarship to a RHS senior demonstrating character, and provide a site where donors could remember friends of Ridge High,” Jane Cullin, chair of the Ridge Alumni Memorial Scholarship said.
The scholarship was first awarded in 2008 and was $2,500. It has increased in the subsequent years thanks to generous donations.
“We've helped a [student] who lost her mother to cancer, then saw her father make headlines for some sort of white collar embezzlement that landed him in prison — she ended up in the U.S. Marine Corps, is now a happy bride, and returning to N.J. with paralegal skills and a bright future. We helped a single mother's brain-damaged [child] get to community college and start a meaningful life. We helped a [student] with a colonoscopy bag who started a Crone's disease fund-raising race where kids wore t-shirts announcing, ‘No guts! All glory!” Cullin said.
The scholarship was started in 2008 in honor of John Peterson ’67 who passed away during the Vietnam War. His graduating class honored him for not being the best student or athlete, but for his merit as a “friend, a participant and an optimist.”
“Even though Basking Ridge seems like a homogeneously wealthy community, there are kids with major challenges [that are] at risk of falling through the cracks,” Cullin said. ”To memorialize a 1967 alumnus like that, John Peterson – [passed away] in Vietnam — members of the Class of '67 decided to forgo plaques and start a different kind of memorial: a scholarship for kids of character.”
For this year’s seniors, the scholarship has a deadline of March 2, 2015.
Cullin added, “Ridge AMS has amazing stories to tell.”