McMahon’s Savannah Buzzeo Awarded $5,000 for College Education Financial Support
The Fairfield County Sports Commission has announced the recipient of its 2018 Chelsea Cohen Memorial Scholarship, which recognizes a female scholar-athlete who is a graduating senior from Norwalk’s high schools with a financial award toward higher education.
Brien McMahon’s Savannah Buzzeo was named as the winner and she will receive a $5,000 grant as support for her college freshman year this fall.
The scholarship is awarded to the candidate that best exemplifies the spirit and qualities of the late Chelsea Cohen, a graduate of NHS who passed away in 2006 and whose name is memorialized through FCSC’s annual Courage Award. Criteria for nomination included academic honors, participation in one or more varsity level sports, community service and displaying high levels of sportsmanship, leadership and character.
“This scholarship is a wonderful tribute to Chelsea and keeps her spirit and memory alive,” said Chelsea’s mother, Barbara Rittner. “This year’s candidates were all exceptional scholar-athletes and the decision was most difficult. Savannah just had that special spark that set Chelsea apart. We hope this scholarship will help Savannah in her quest to save the planet!”
The award was started last year with two recipients, one each from McMahon (Bella Bean) and Norwalk High (Sarah St. Surin), who both received $2,500 grants.
“After launching the scholarship in 2017 in Chelsea’s honor by recognizing two terrific young ladies representing each of Norwalk’s high schools, we are now taking the next step to grow the award. By increasing the amount of financial support, we want to have greater impact in aiding one student-athlete every year who is striving to succeed in college in the next big challenge of her life,” remarked FCSC Executive Director Tom Chiappetta. “Savannah is an ideal selection and we are pleased to be able to help her continue her successful journey.”
Buzzeo, who will be attending Lehigh University, is a four-year high-honors student and member of the National Honor Society. She played multiple sports for the Senators, including four years on the outdoor track and field team and three with the volleyball squad. In addition she ran cross country as a senior and was a basketball player for two seasons. Savannah, who was a two-year captain of both the outdoor and indoor track teams, was the CIAC’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Year for McMahon.
One of the top javelin throwers in the state, Savannah just won the FCIAC title at the recent outdoor meet and placed second in the Class LL states as a junior. She qualified for the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in 2017 as one of the country’s top 36 high schoolers in her event and will be returning to compete there in mid-June.
Buzzeo also has been active in giving back to her school and community by acting as a mentor and tutor. For three years she has participated in McMahon’s Best Buddies chapter, which matches students with developmentally and intellectually challenged students in their school in order to relieve the social isolation felt by many students with special needs.