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The 2018 Jersey D.A.R.E. scholarship winners are shown with D.A.R.E. officer Rich Portwood and board member Bob Jones. The youth are, Blake Wittman, Caitlyn King, Taylor Young and Alec Fry.

JERSEY – The Jersey D.A.R.E. organization recently presented scholarship checks to some outstanding winners.

The Jersey Community High School winners were Blake Wittman, Alec Fry, Caitlin King and Taylor Young.

“We have given away scholarships each year and over $20,000 in scholarships through the years,” Jersey D.A.R.E. officer Rich Portwood said. “This year we had 22 applicants, which is a high amount and we gave four scholarships.”

The students have to write an essay and do interviews with the D.A.R.E. Board, then the top four were picked this year. Background checks are also done on the students.

Portwood described Wittman as “an outstanding athlete, but an even better young man.”

“Alec’s brother was a D.A.R.E. scholarship recipient several years ago,” Portwood said. “Alec is a leader in the school.”

“Caitlyn is unique in that her dad is one of the probation officers in Jersey County,” Portwood said. “Her perspective was interesting on how drugs and alcohol affected people.”

Taylor Young is very solid academically and received raves from her teachers, Portwood said.

“Part of the background checks is asking the teachers about their characters and Taylor’s teachers just love her,” he said. “She is a very intelligent young lady.”

D.A.R.E. is a national program designed to give young people the skills they need to avoid involvement in drugs, gangs, and violence.