SPRINGFIELD – Two students currently attending Our Lady of the Elms College in Chicopee received the Hon. Kent B. Smith Scholarship on Thursday, January 31, 2019, during a presentation ceremony in St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield.
The scholarship was awarded by the St. Thomas More Society of the Diocese of Springfield. This year’s recipients were Manuel Savalza and Hannah Pichardo, both sophomores studying in the criminal justice program at Our Lady of the Elms. Atty. Michael G. McDonough, of Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, serves as the director of the St. Thomas More Society. Atty. McDonough presented each recipient with a scholarship award of $1,000.
Each year since 2012, the St. Thomas More Society of Springfield presents the scholarship to two deserving students seeking careers in the legal profession. Atty. McDonough said the award’s namesake, the late Hon. Kent B. Smith, was a judge in the Massachusetts Appeals Court with a reputation as “a lion of the Bar,” who also went on to teach law and evidence.
Savalza, who lives off campus, said he was grateful for the scholarship monies, saying it would be put to good use toward his college expenses. When he graduates as part of the Elms College Class of 2021, Savalza, who is from Riverside, Calif., said he hopes to become a youth correctional counselor to “work with troubled kids to show that that that’s not the way they want to live their life.” Savalza added, “Everyone can turn their life around.”
Pichardo said the additional funds will help offset her college expenses as well. She said she works long hours during her college breaks and in the summer at a small pizza shop in Saratoga Springs, NY., where she lives. “It’s definitely worth it in the end, because I’m going to get a great education,” she said. Pichardo said that following her graduation in 2021, she plans to enter the police academy and would eventually like to become a homicide detective.
Attorney McDonough has served as director of the St. Thomas More Society since 2017. He follows in the footsteps of other lawyers from Egan, Flanagan & Cohen, including Attorneys Tom Day, Paula Tredeau and Ted Brown.