A woman who grew up in Sheffield, Mass., was one of the 157 people who died in an Ethiopian Airlines crash last weekend.
Family members say 24-year-old Samya Stumo was aboard the plane that crashed Sunday minutes after takeoff.
“She’s the type of person that if she was on a mission she’d go right into an Ebola region. And that’s the kind of leadership we’d always hoped would come from the younger generation,” said her great-uncle Ralph Nader.
Stumo had begun working for a Washington, D.C.-based global health organization, which was why she was on Flight 302 heading to Nairobi.
Nader said the crash could have been avoided, calling for a larger review of airlines.
“They’re pushing the envelope. They’re cutting corners,” Nader said. “This would never have happened other than Boeing catering to the airlines.”
Stumo graduated from Mount Everett High School in Sheffield in 2010 at the age of 16.
“She took many of the upper level honors courses at our school,” said Principal Glenn Devoti. “It speaks a little bit about her motivation as a student.”
She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2015 with a dual degree in Anthropology and Spanish.
“She’s just remembered fondly by the staff as a student that was going to bring light to this world,” Devoti said.
Her grandmother, Laura Nader, an anthropology professor at the University of California Berkeley, tells The Boston Globe that Stumo was heading to Uganda for her first project for her new job.
A UMass spokesman says Stumo was known “for engaging others by earning their respect, friendship and trust.”
Stumo’s uncle is pushing for a greater review of aviation in the United States.