Darien High senior elected to national SADD leadership council

Darien High School Senior Student, Rhea Bhat, has been elected for the second year to SADD 's (Students Against Destructive Decisions) National Student Leadership Council.

Darien High School Senior Student, Rhea Bhat, has been elected for the second year to SADD ‘s (Students Against Destructive Decisions) National Student Leadership Council.

Contributed photo

DARIEN — Darien High School Senior Rhea Bhat has been elected for the second year to SADD ‘s (Students Against Destructive Decisions) National Student Leadership Council.

The Student Leadership Council consists of six to eight students, and membership is highly competitive and work to further the mission of SADD. Through participation in the SLC, selected students grow and strengthen their leadership skills and gain significant travel, training, leadership, and public speaking opportunities. Members of the SLC are dedicated to peer programming and youth health and safety. They have many accomplishments within their schools and communities to further SADD’s mission. Each student must meet certain eligibility requirements.

Bhat is also a past recipient of the Gold 2020 President’s Volunteer Service Award. This award recognizes the important role of volunteers in America’s strength and national identity and honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires those around them to act also.

“On behalf of the Darien Police Department, I offer my heartiest congratulations to Rhea Bhat on being elected for the second year to SADD ‘s National Student Leadership Council,” Darien Police Chief Donald Anderson said.

Anderson said the Darien Police Department is proud of its longstanding association with the young men and women in our local SADD group which meets at the Darien Depot.

“When we see our Darien students making good life decisions while being engaged in wide ranging community issues, we are highly confident that the future is indeed bright, he said.

SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) was founded on philosophy that young people, empowered to help each other, are the most effective force in prevention.

Four years ago, Bhat was involved in a horrible accident while an eighth grader. She had just stepped off her school bus and was hit by a “distracted” driver. The driver of the car stated to police he had looked down to his ringing cell phone that was on the seat next to him, and in that split second missed the flashing lights and Bhat getting off the bus.

Several months later, Bhat approached Janice Marzano, Depot program director and Sgt. TJ Moore, who are both advisors to the SADD group at The Depot and asked how she can share her life changing story.

Bhat wanted to take an active role in reducing the incidents of distracted driving, and all involved felt SADD was the best avenue for her to do that.