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Academic Scholarship Recipient

Congratulations to Andrew Kelly, 20, of Levittown, Pa., who is the recipient of the Friedman & Simon L.L.P. 2019 Academic Scholarship. Andrew is a sophomore at the University of Pittsburgh.

As personal injury attorneys, we understand how devastating an injury can be on victims and their loved ones. Andrew’s academic dedication and career goals, despite his personal history of injury has revealed a fighting spirit and determination to turn his struggles into the impetus for helping others.

Partners Edward Friedman and Roger Simon have both said that this scholarship is a way to help one impressive student to make a difference in this world. “We are all heavily invested in the lives and educations of young people,” said Simon. 

We are certain that Andrew will make a difference in this world. Andrew’s ’ essay described an excruciating medical journey that began with an injury from his first high school varsity football game in 2015. Andrew assumed he had a concussion, but actually, the blow to the head ruptured a previously undetected arachnoid cyst in his brain. This set off a terrifying medical journey for Andrew,  who underwent 11 subsequent brain surgeries, and continues to battle chronic severe headaches. He missed almost 200 days of high school.

In his essay, Andrew wrote that many nights he lay awake wondering why this happened. But he found his answer through his passion for neuroscience.

He stayed dedicated to his academics, gaining acceptance to the University of Pittsburgh, where he maintains a 3.5 GPA in the difficult field of neuroscience. In his interview, Andrew said the surgeries and struggles might well have been easier for him than his parents, Kevin and Dianne Kelly, who had to helplessly witness it all.

“I felt a yearning deep within myself to make all of this worth it, but I knew that would be a tall task,’’ Andrew wrote.

As a freshman, he began volunteering in a Pitt study to help seniors with dementia. Today, he is a research assistant at the school’s Brain Trauma Research Center.

The deadline to apply for the 2020 Academic Scholarship is June 15, 2020.

Read Andrew’s essay and watch our interview with him.

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