Today, Reedsburg Area High School student Jordyn Schara will become part of the history of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Schara, a 17-year-old North Freedom resident who will be a senior at Reedsburg Area High School in the fall, is one of three Wisconsin residents selected by Coca-Cola to carry the torch through England as part of the ceremonies leading up to London’s Summer Olympics.
According to the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald in England, Schara’s turn on the Olympic Torch Relay was scheduled to take place at about 5 p.m. local time today — or about 11 a.m. Wisconsin time.
Schara was scheduled to carry the torch through Ludgershall, Wiltshire, England.
Ludgershall is about 10 miles from Stonehenge — famous for the collection of ancient, prehistoric standing stones that remains something of a mystery to this day.
Schara was one of 10 teenagers nationwide chosen for the run, and one of 22 outstanding Americans selected to travel to England to take part in the relay.
Each of the torchbearers was selected based on showing their creativity in helping make a difference around the world.
Schara founded Wisconsin Prescription Pill and Drug Disposal, known as WI P2D2, to help communities dispose of medicines safely, preventing teen prescription drug abuse and avoiding water contamination.
Schara was 14 when she created WI P2D2. The program was designed to help rid medicine cabinets of unwanted or unused drugs that could be abused or contaminate the environment. Schara’s program has spread to other states, including the creation of permanent drop boxes, and has collected hundreds of tons of drugs.
“I think that it has taken off because there was a need and there wasn’t much happening to address that need,” she said of the program. “I’ve always been interested in community service, and I knew I wanted to do environmentally safe projects.”
Schara also created Foundation for HOPE (Helping Our Peers Excel). It’s focused on peer-to-peer mentorship to get youth involved in their communities.
Schara, who was nominated for the torch run by her mother, Krystal, isn’t too worried about the short run. She plays tennis and runs at home with her chocolate Labrador, Fudge.
The flame was lit May 17 in Athens, Greece, before going to England for the final portion of its 70-day, 8,000-mile journey. Torchbearers pass on the ceremonial flame but are allowed to keep their torch.
The trip was Schara’s second intercontinental journey of the summer. Last month, she joined a group of young volunteers from Wisconsin and Illinois in an all-expenses-paid trip to Göteborg, Sweden, and captured third prize in the Volvo Adventure program.
Schara, who has dreams of becoming a television news war correspondent, said being in the company of so many other torchbearers with highly touted accomplishments is an honor.
“Once it was completely confirmed, it was an amazing feeling knowing that I’d be able to participate in something like this,” she said. “It’s going to give me an experience I will never forget.”
Also chosen from Wisconsin were Peyton Medick, a 14-year-old from the Marathon County community of Weston, and cancer survivor Kyle Mandry, 48, of Wisconsin Rapids.