On Saturday, May 21, the inaugural Stephanie Uftring Memorial Scholarship award’s ceremony was held at the South Boston Yacht Club. Wil Patrick Hingston, who attends Archbishop William’s High School in Braintree, was the essay winner and received a $2,500 check towards his tuition. Maxwell Milan from South Boston Catholic Academy and Nyla Anderson from Saint Peter’s were the $1,000 drawing contest recipients. Wil Patrick Hingston attended the Yacht Club ceremony. Unfortunately, Maxwell Milan and Nyla Anderson couldn’t attend the ceremony on Saturday, but were presented with their awards on Monday, May 23, at their respective schools, by members of the scholarship committee.
Stephanie Uftring was a lifelong South Boston resident who lost her battle with colon cancer in 2014. She was only 48 years old. She grew up in Boston Housing and was proud of her upbringing. She attended Saint Augustine Grammar School, Sacred Heart High School, and Johnson and Wales College. Education was important to her. Stephanie worked hard during the day and as a waitress at night. She always had a smile on her face and became well known for calling her beloved customers “lovey.” Stephanie was the vice president of the Irish American Society and volunteered for many community endeavors. Helping others was one of her top priorities in life.
“The scholarship committee is made up of Stephanie’s friends and family,” Cheryl Flaherty wrote in an email. “Too many to name but the person who started the process is Linda Leeman, Stephanie’s best friend. She had the idea to keep Stephanie’s memory alive by giving back to the community in her name. Education was so important to Stephanie and helping take out the sting of tuition costs by giving scholarships to current and former South Boston residents was Linda’s idea.
“Seventeen students in grades 7 through 12 submitted essays answering three questions we developed,” Flaherty added. “Wil Patrick Hingston’s essays were selected. We also had a drawing contest for students grades K-6 for students at the South Boston Catholic Academy (SBCA) and Saint Peter’s Academy. We received over 120 drawings which were on display at the South Boston Yacht Club. They were all so beautiful that we could not choose a winner and pulled a winner from each school via lottery. Maxwell Milan from SBCA and Nyla Anderson from Saint Peter’s were the drawing contest winners.
“We are looking forward to making this an annual event,” she concluded. “And appreciate everyone who took the time to write the essays and submit drawings.”
One of Wil Patrick Hingston’s essays was about a person he admired most in life. That person was his dad, Brian Hingston, who recently suffered a fatal injury while trying to break up a fight in Dorchester. He was 45 years old. Wil’s essay is emotionally moving and is presented verbatim:
“A person I admire is my Dad. Even though he is no longer with us in person, he has made me the person I am today. I admire him because he was a hard worker, kind, funny, humble, and an all-around good guy. He was a man who you could always depend on. My Dad was by my side for as long as I can remember, he helped me with all my problems. He was a great listener and someone I could always turn to for advice. He was my go-to-guy for everything. I admire him because he is my forever role model. He worked two jobs every day to let us go on fun trips and to have the things we want. Even after working all day, he was willing to lend a helping hand, whether it was for myself, my siblings, friends, or even strangers. Since he was a man of his word, he would make sure he helped everyone who asked. My Dad lived a healthy lifestyle which made it possible for him to run the Boston Marathon three times, along with the Charleston Bunker Hill road race numerous times. The strength and discipline of my Dad as a runner is a huge source of pride for my siblings and I. My Dad was someone anyone could look up to and he continues to be even though he has passed. My Dad was an organ donor, he saved five lives; five different people got my Dad’s organs and are now able to get a second chance at life. All my life he was my hero, but now that he has saved five lives, he is one to others too. My Dad was the perfect example of what a father should be. His influence on me will last a lifetime.”