For her fashion show, Tiverton senior wins national scholarship

TIVERTON — A Tiverton High Senior who organized a February fashion show  of 60 donated prom dresses as her senior project, has won a national scholarship.

The award comes from Becca’s Closet, a non-profit organization that promotes the donation of prom dresses to girls who need them.

Kristen Morrissette, who last summer conceived of the fashion show as a way to stimulate interest in the donation of prom dresses to Becca’s Closet, was the only student in the country to win this year’s national award, called the “Becca’s Closet Involvement Scholarship.”

The award is given to the graduating high school senior who has “made an outstanding, documented contribution to his or her local community through the creation of or involvement in a Becca’s Closet chapter.”

Becca’s Closet scholarships, says the Becca’s Closet website, are given “to encourage students who have demonstrated outstanding community service in high school to continue their efforts throughout their lives and to encourage others to do the same.”

Kirsten learned of her award about two weeks ago. It will be announced at the awards night at Tiverton High School this Wednesday.

The fashion show Kirsten produced lasted 90 minutes, before an audience of about 200. Participants included 13 high school girls, and about 10 high school boys who volunteered to be their escorts. All paraded, to upbeat music across a runway in the Tiverton High School Auditorium.

Becca’s Closet is a non-profit organization with 65 chapters throughout the country, and was created in honor of Rebecca Kirtman, who died at age 16 in an automobile accident in August 2003. In her first two years of high school Rebecca had singlehandedly collected and donated prom dresses to hundreds of girls who needed but couldn’t afford them.

Rebecca’s parents, Jay and Pam Kirtman, are traveling to Rhode Island this weekend to present the check for a minimum of $1,000 to Kirsten. A breakfast will be held in her honor at the Portsmouth home of her Tiverton High School guidance counselor, Cathy Winston.

Kirsten will attend Salve Regina University in the fall.

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