The Riverside Alumni Association is proud to announce the three recipients of its scholarship grants for 2020. These three outstanding Riverside High School 2020 graduates plan on attending college, and these grants of $1,000 each will help them achieve their goals.
Jake Darida had two major interests throughout his years at Riverside High School: music and robotics. He is the son of John and Becky Darida. John is an RHS alumnus. Jake’s love of music led him to the tuba, and he was a member of the RHS marching band. He was a squad leader for three years and section leader as a senior. He auditioned for and was accepted into the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, performing at Severance Hall, the Maltz Performing Arts Center, and other venues. He also joined the Pit Orchestra for Riverside’s musical performances and learned to play upright base. He performed with Lakeland Civic Community Band, Lake Erie Pops Ensemble, and other volunteer community groups. During this time, he worked part-time at Pfabe’s Music as a salesman. In seventh grade Jake found the new robotics program, and he was team captain for three years. In addition to his many accomplishments, Jake has volunteered in efforts to feed families who need help. He has been building his own computer at home. Jake has enrolled at the University of Akron in their mechanical engineering program, and in the future, hopes to build things – from car parts to musical instruments, and perhaps more.
Sara Kovalchuk is a 2020 graduate of Riverside High School and is the daughter of Jon and April. Her mother, April Turri Kovalchuk, is an RHS alumna. Sara was active in her high school years. She spent three years with Student Initiative Developing Excellence, Student Council and Project Mosaic and Best Buds, which developed relationships with special needs students. Sara had many volunteer hours with the National Honor Society, volunteered with St. Mary’s soup kitchen and was a guided study hall tutor. She played varsity softball for four years and was team captain for three years. Of note, Sara took part in a service trip to Peru in 2018. At an elementary school there, she said she gained perspective on life. Sara’s academics did not suffer during all this extracurricular activity: She took advanced placement courses, is a four-year Academic Letter recipient, is a member of the National Honor Society and achieved the Principal’s Honor Roll all four years. Sara will be attending the University of Cincinnati with a major in elementary education and a minor in psychology, with the goal of becoming a Montessori teacher.
Gabe Richner is a 2020 graduate of Riverside High School and is the son of Michael and Cindy Richner. His father is an alumnus of RHS. Gabe was active in high school in varsity sports, including cross country, wrestling, track, and indoor track. He qualified for district competitions in all three sports and was a conference placer. He also was class vice president for three years and National Honor Society Secretary his senior year. At Riverside, he logged over 137 hours of community service. He was part of several student organizations, such as Student Initiative Developing Excellence, Student Council, peer tutoring, and Project Mosaic, all while working two part-time jobs and nurturing hobbies in photography and videography. Gabe took dual classes at Lakeland Community College, where he maintained a 4.0 GPA and made the honor roll and dean’s list. Gabe will attend Ohio State University, majoring in biology. He intends to work toward a pre-medicine track with a goal of becoming a physician.