First recipient of UMass Dartmouth nursing scholarship announced

Nov 20, 2019

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has announced that Elyssa Tripp of Westport will be the inaugural recipient of the Hailey Angel Allard Nursing Scholarship, an award set up in honor of student Hailey Allard of Somerset, who passed away in 2018.

Keryann Estrela and her daughter, Hailey Angel Allard, 20, had planned to graduate together from the UMass Dartmouth College of Nursing and Health Sciences in May 2020 — Estrela with a doctor of nursing practice degree and Allard with a bachelor of science.

Those plans were derailed in August 2018 when Allard’s car was hit by a speeding police cruiser as she was coming home from work, a few hundred yards from her house. She had recently celebrated her 20th birthday.

To honor Allard’s memory, her family, friends, and the UMass Dartmouth community created the Hailey Angel Allard Nursing Scholarship.

This scholarship will be awarded annually to a nursing student based on financial need and a minimum 3.0 GPA, with preference for residents of Bristol County.

Following an initial donation from Allard’s family, students, faculty, and staff from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences held a color walk/run on April 28, 2019 to raise money for the scholarship.

More than 300 runners participated in the event that raised more than $25,000 to fund the endowed scholarship. After the event, a memorial service was held for Allard.

Tripp — the first-ever recipient of the scholarship — hopes to become a maternity nurse. 

She graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and is currently in a clinical rotation at St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River.

“In pursuing the nursing profession, it is my hope that my fellow UMassD nursing peers and I can represent the type of nurse Hailey would be: compassionate, courageous, and inspirational,” said Tripp.

Estrela is still on schedule to complete her degree next spring. She has received strong support from her large family of eight siblings and her coworkers at Rhode Island Hospital’s medical-surgical floor, where she is a nurse.

“I work with amazing people. I wouldn’t be able to get here without their support and the support of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. I’ve been blessed with friends and a great university that made this happen,” Estrela said.

After she earns her degree, Estrela would love to create an acute care center of nurse practitioners who can treat a variety of specialties. She also plans to work to develop legislation that will establish guidelines for police cruisers when speeding to a crime scene.