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Inside the Classroom

Upper St. Clair life-skills program raises money for injured classmate

| Friday, Dec. 22, 2017, 12:00 p.m.

A student-run business at Upper St. Clair High School sold T-shirts, bracelets and rally towels to raise more than $500 for a senior who was severely injured in a car crash the first day of school.

SHOP@USC, a program in which special-needs students in Upper St. Clair's Life Skills program design and produce school-spirit products, sold the merchandise to benefit Rita Beauchamp, who suffered a head injury, a broken pelvis and internal injuries in the Aug. 29 crash on Route 19 and spent weeks in a coma.

The shirts featured the hashtag "#WakeUpRita," which shifted to "#RitasWakingUp" as she came out of the coma and was able to begin her recovery. Sales through SHOP@USC raised $530, and students at Fort Couch Middle School raised an additional $170, district spokeswoman Tina Vojtko said.

Beauchamp, who is still recovering at home, has been able to take her classes online so she can graduate in the spring, Vojtko said. Her family's Facebook posts indicated she came home earlier this month and was walking with a cane. She and her mother came to the high school Dec. 13 to be presented with a check.

SHOP@USC began in the 2014-2015 school year with donated, professional-level equipment for printing shirts, banners and cards.

In addition to school fundraisers, a GoFundMe account has raised nearly $24,000 toward Beauchamp's medical bills over the course of three months.

Matthew Santoni is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724 836 6660, or via Twitter @msantoni.

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