In addition, Karen Hart, daughter of Karel Welch, Dave Vigneault’s longtime friend, who serves on the Scholarship Review Committee, was so moved by the diverse background of the applicants, that she has personally donated two separate additional $500.00 Scholarships to be awarded to the 2nd & 3rd place finishers, to assist them with their college expenses. ‘I think that given the events of the past year, it would be befitting of Dave’s passion to the American Dream, and giving a hand up to support these two young people’, Hart said.
The 2nd place finisher was Julio Rodriguez, a 2021 graduate of Putnam Vocational, who plans on attending Springfield Technical Community College, then transferring to a four-year college.
The 3rd Place finisher, was Duong Thai, a 2021 graduate of Commerce High School, and will be attending Springfield Technical Community College, enrolled in the College and Career Promise Program. Duong will be majoring in Nursing.
Mayor Sarno stated, “Congratulations to Tyana Padilla, Julio Rodriguez and Duong Thai on receiving this year’s scholarships! I want to thank the Dave Vigneault Scholarship Review Committee for their continued efforts in helping our students offset their college expenses. There was no better grassroots worker and advocate for our young aspiring students of political science then former State Representative Dave Vigneault. This is such a fitting contribution to honor his memory and legacy.”
‘The ‘Dave Vigneault Political Scholarship’ was created to pay tribute to former State Representative Dave Vigneault, who died in 2019 from Pancreatic Cancer, and to his lifelong commitment to political activism, Public Service, Social Justice. Vigneault, who served as a Springfield State Representative from 1961-1972, first won elected office at the age of 21, while a Sophomore, majoring in Political Science at UMass.
’The Dave Vigneault Political Scholarship is committed to continuing his belief in the need to encourage all young people to becoming involved in the political process’, said former State Representative Paul Caron, Chairman of the Scholarship Review Committee. Vigneault, who served as a Springfield State Representative from 1961-1972, first won elected office at the age of 21, while a Sophomore, majoring in Political Science at UMass.
The ‘Dave Vigneault Scholarship Review Committee is made up of former State Representative Paul Caron, Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi, Springfield City Councilors Jesse Lederman and Victor Davila, Springfield Political Consultant Anthony Cignoli, Springfield Fire Fighter and Dave Vigneault’s nephew Brian Vigneault, and Karen Hart and Mary Moge, daughters of Vigneault’s longtime companion, Karel Welch.