Hadley, MA - When Thomas E. Cosenzi passed away in 2009, it was not only ownership of the TommyCar Auto Group that passed to his children Carla and Thomas M., but his legacy of giving back to the community. That legacy was evident when the four recipients of a 2012 Tom Cosenzi Scholarship were awarded their checks for $1,000.00 on June 2, 2012, at Country Nissan on Route 9 in Hadley.
The scholarship, awarded each year to a graduating senior, helps students with demonstrated leadership and community involvement continue their education at either a 2-year or 4-year institution. The program has expanded to other area high schools, with last year's winners coming from not only Hopkins Academy in Hadley, but Northampton High School, Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley, and Greenfield High School as well.
"My dad was not only a great business person but was also a true believer of giving back to the community," said Carla Cosenzi, co-owner with her brother of TommyCar Auto Group. "We started the Tom Cosenzi Scholarship fund to honor him and to help others achieve their dreams."
Last year's scholarship winners include Anaisa Garcia of Florence, a senior at Northampton High School who will be attending SUNY Delhi in New York and studying to become a veterinary technician; Rita Pirozhkov of Greenfield, one of nine children will attend UMass Amherst in the fall; Nicole Himebaugh of Charlton who, following graduation from Shepherd Hill Regional High School in Dudley, MA, will pursue her dream of becoming a veterinarian at Clemson University; and Stephen J. Keith of Hopkins Academy in Hadley, who hopes to attend Lincoln Technical Institute and go into the automotive field, preferably as an expert in diesel technology and alternative energy systems.
All four students have stood out in their high schools not only for their academic achievements, but for involvement in sports, clubs, extracurricular activities, and service to the community.
The students and their families were present at Country Nissan on 40 Russell Street when the checks were presented on Saturday, June 2, 2012.