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Ridgefield Historical Society Awards 2024 Scholarship to Marko Katra

Marko Katra was presented the Ridgefield Historical Society's annual scholarship by Stephen Bartkus, Executive Director and Tracy Seem, Board President.

Marko Katra, a graduating senior from Ridgefield High School, has been awarded the prestigious annual scholarship by the Ridgefield Historical Society in recognition of his dedication to history and commitment to preserving local heritage. Marko’s passion for history stems from a childhood enriched by diverse cultural influence – his mother hailing from Malaysia and his father from Poland. From exploring medieval castles in Southern Poland to hearing tales of wartime resilience in Malaysia, Marko’s fascination with the past has only deepened over the years.

“History has always been more than just stories in textbooks for me,” Marko reflects. “It’s a way to understand where we come from, to connect with the experiences of those who came before us.”

Marko’s interest in history is notably focused on World War II, a period he feels a personal connection to due to his Polish heritage. His application highlighted his visits to historical sites like Auschwitz and Westerplatte, as well as his admiration for local WWII veterans’ stories archived by the Ridgefield Historical Society. These firsthand accounts, Marko believes, bridge the gap between past and present, making history tangible and relevant to today’s youth.

In addition to his academic achievements – including a high GPA and multiple Advanced Placement courses – Marko has been actively involved in extracurricular activities such as student government, mock trial, and music. His dedication extends beyond the classroom, where he has excelled as a swimmer and held leadership roles in various organizations. Marko also completed his senior internship with the Ridgefield Historical Society.

“I am honored to receive this scholarship,” Marko expressed. “It will support my studies at the University of Connecticut, where I plan to continue exploring history through a critical lens and contribute to preserving our shared heritage.”

The Ridgefield Historical Society’s scholarship recognizes outstanding local students like Marko Katra, who embody a passion for history and a commitment to preserving Ridgefield’s rich cultural legacy for future generations. Through their support, the Society continues to foster a deep appreciation for local history and its enduring significance in today’s world.

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