Cecil College student wins Kirsh Law Firm billboard scholarship

Fatima Fokina

NORTH EAST, Md. – Working collaboratively to enrich community engagement is a powerful way to bring about environmental and behavioral changes that, in the end, improve the community and its members. The Kirsh Law Firm is diligently creating community partnerships that align with the philosophy of community betterment.

The firm’s associates announced that Cecil College student Will Shea is the recipient of the Eighth Annual Kirsh Law Firm billboard award. The Kirsh Law Firm provides real-world experience to Cecil College students by providing a scholarship along with the opportunity for graphic design students to display their talent in designing a company billboard.

The scholarship has supported numerous visual communication students since its inception. Shea joins a list of talented Cecil College alumni, including George Hipkins, Mckayla Imperatrice, Alyson Boyle, and Sean Sjoblom who have benefited as recipients of this funding.

“Cecil College is a significant institution as it provides our community with an affordable option for a quality college education. Many Cecil County residents, whether right out of high school or after many years in the workforce, cannot attend a traditional four-year university for a variety of reasons,” said Peter Kirsh, Esq. “The goal is to continue to assist students who are working to realize their dream.”

Shea’s design, selected from nearly a dozen submissions, is prominently displayed on the westbound side of U.S. Route 40 between Landing Lane and Rt. 213, in Elkton, Md. The Kirsh Law Firm Scholarship amount is $750.

“Going into college, I didn’t have a strong background in graphic design, but I found I had the knack for it once I started taking classes at Cecil College. To come up with a concept for this challenging assignment, I drove around to look at the actual work of professional billboard designers to understand what made for a successful design,” said Shea.

The Kirsh Law Firm has been a big supporter of higher education for decades, helping to provide internships and create opportunities for the next generation. Kirsh and his wife, Wendy, discussed how they could positively impact individuals seeking to own their futures. The law firm was working on a new design for its Route 40 billboard during this time.

“We realized that we could provide an opportunity for Cecil College students to use their talents and skills in a real-world situation,” said Kirsh. And so, the annual Kirsh Law Firm scholarship billboard contest was created.

Peter and Wendy Kirsh understand the challenges faced by the residents of Cecil County who are working several jobs while pursuing a pathway through Cecil College to better their future. The Kirsh family has seen the struggles and the balancing act students maintain to reach their goals.

Shea’s initial idea was to use an image that signified Maryland, as the Kirsh Law Firm is based in North East, Md. He went to a river near his home and waited for the sun to set over the water.

“I thought a sunset with the dark background would be a good fit for the aesthetics to represent the Kirsh Law Firm. It would allow for the words to pop. As for the colors, I tried to do something bright and warm that didn’t take away from the type and what the billboard is trying to convey,” said Shea, who made sure the Kirsh name was front and center. He also found a font that matched the law firm’s logo.

Cecil College Assistant Professor of Visual Communications Adam Jacono provided his digital design students with an outline of what the Kirsh Law Firm was looking for, and they went to work. Cecil College students can submit more than one design, with the winning design being chosen by the entire staff at the Kirsh Law Firm.

The parameters are that the design must fit on a 10-foot by 30-foot billboard that incorporates The Kirsh Law Firm name, logo, and company’s telephone number. Entrants are free to be as imaginative as possible.

“We intentionally don’t provide ground rules or limits so that the students can use their full creativity in their designs,” said Kirsh. “The scholarship contest provides the students with a real-world challenge – using their creativity to promote a client’s business. Most of the submissions we receive are truly outstanding.”

Shea completed his associate degree in Visual Communications with a concentration in video production in December 2021 and is currently enrolled at the Sheffield Institute for the Recording Arts.

Formed in 2006, The Kirsh Law Firm specializes in real estate law. They have a Cecil County office is located at 112 East Cecil Avenue in North East, and a Delaware office located at 903 South College Ave. in Newark.

To apply for this and other Cecil College scholarships, visit cecil.edu/scholarships. If you are interested in supporting a student through a tax-deductible gift, please contact the Cecil College Foundation at [email protected] or visit cecil.edu/foundation.



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