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'It is a sense of relief' | Matt Smart speaks out about the arrests in his sister's case, family scholarship fund

The Smart family have a scholarship fund in Kristin's memory for four young women each year

STOCKTON, Calif — Matt Smart is the younger brother of Kristin Smart, the college student that disappeared over 25 years ago from a party held off the campus from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Paul Flores was the last person to see Kristin Smart alive in May of 1996. He and his father were arrested in connection to her disappearance in April 2021.

From his home in San Diego, Matt reflected on the case as it stands now and his passion for Kristin's scholarship fund.

What are your thoughts on where the case is today?

Matt: "For us, we really look at the situation being dynamic, most importantly ongoing. To move from the era of missing and unsolved to something more constructive as ongoing and not be running billboards along the highway that say missing, call this number, call that number, call this number has really been inspiring to a lot of folks. We've had people reach out from other cases who see the energy, who see the momentum and your heart really goes out to them."

What do you want to see happen to these people if there is a conviction that goes through and they're found guilty?

Matt: "So, where the family is we're not one to sit too much on that question. It's out of our hands at this point. What's going to play out, is going to play out. For us, it's really to make the constructive moment that it is to pour the emotional energy into the Kristin Smart Scholarship fund."

Regarding the scholarship winners, what is it about all these recipients that you see in Kristin?

Matt: "Leadership, a drive to participate fully in life that being athletics, that being professional endeavors. And, Kristin has such a knack for wanting to get out there and just live, I mean really live."

For the past five years, four young women have been awarded scholarships in Kristin's memory from San Joaquin County and San Luis Obispo County.

For more information on the scholarship and an application, go to kristinsmart.org.

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