This annual award administered by Parachute, Canada’s national charity dedicated to injury prevention, honours a Canadian high school student who best exemplifies the spirit, drive and optimism of Stacey Levitt, a Toronto teen killed by a motor vehicle driver.
May 1, 2019 – “The story of my life is one about overcoming adversity and boldly facing the challenges that have attempted to throw me off course,” says Rachelle Clark, a student at Robert Bateman Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C. Her tenacity and ability to succeed academically and as a volunteer, despite challenging personal circumstances, put her at the top of 374 applications from nine provinces for the Stacey Levitt Memorial Award.
Clark, 18, has volunteered with many community and school organizations, including:
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
- Sunday school pre-school and K to 5 teacher
- Volunteer math tutor
- School volleyball team
- Competitive in basketball and track and field
- Singer and flautist in musical performances
She has maintained a 97-per-cent average in top academic courses while working at multiple jobs to support herself as she has had to live independently since age 17 following what she describes as “fallout from my parents’ divorce.”
Her nominator, school counsellor Jennifer Crockett, says that “while this would have been an unsurmountable obstacle for most, Rachelle accepted her new challenges without sacrificing her academic record, her volunteer work or her ability to maintain her job in the food industry and as an academic tutor for multiple students in Grades 10 to 12. Rachelle is a scholar, a mentor and an amazing young woman.”
This annual high school student award encourages Canadian youth to embody Stacey Levitt’s qualities and ideals and Parachute’s overarching goal of a long life lived to the fullest, while maintaining an approach that is rooted in risk management and injury prevention.
The Levitt family awards $2,500 to help the winning student live their life to the fullest. The award may be put toward an educational endeavour, engagement in sports, or investment in a travel experience – all pursuits that would have resonated with Stacey Levitt. Rachelle Clark says she will use the funds toward her tuition to attend UBC for a Bachelor of Science degree.
“What struck us very deeply was Rachelle’s ability to overcome great adversity, while at the same time maintaining her dignity, humanity and ability to help others,” says Ned Levitt, Stacey’s father and a former board director for Parachute. “She is truly an inspiration and will be a great ambassador for Parachute and the ideals that drove Stacey to live life (however short) to the fullest.”
For more information or to arrange interviews with Rachelle Clark, contact:
Kelley Teahen, Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Parachute 647-776-5128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Stacey Levitt
Stacey Levitt was born May 19, 1977 at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital. She attended Allenby Public School, Glenview Senior Public School and Northern Secondary School. Stacey had a wide variety of interests and lived a busy and active life while growing up in North Toronto with her family – her parents Ned and Cheryl, her sisters Marni and Jacqueline, and many very special and close friends.
On Aug. 30, 1995, the driver of a motor vehicle struck and killed 18-year-old Stacey while she was jogging in her Toronto neighbourhood.
Parachute is Canada’s national charity dedicated to reducing the devastating impact of preventable injuries. Injury is the No. 1 killer of Canadians aged 1 to 44, where one child dies every nine hours. The financial toll is staggering, with injury costing the Canadian economy $27 billion a year. Through education and advocacy, Parachute is working to save lives and create a Canada free of serious injuries. For more information, visit us at parachute.ca and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.