Meet Jason Mei ’18, Winner of the Dr. Howard Wexler Scholarship!
Jason Mei ’18, winner of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association’s 2018 Wexler Scholarship, was overwhelmed when he found out he had won this $10,000 award. Dr. Howard Wexler, inventor of Connect 4, funds this scholarship and has been an avid supporter of Stuyvesant for many years.
When we asked Jason about what this scholarship meant to him, he first turned to the impact on his family and parents. Like many families, Jason’s parents immigrated to pursue the American Dream for their three children. For years, they toiled away in kitchens at restaurants and in crowded factories, but they still only scraped by.
Despite the family’s limited resources, they have always been incredibly proud of the accomplishments of their three children. Jason’s eldest sister, Julie, is currently attending the PharmD program at Northeastern. The Mei’s didn’t have enough money saved to afford her annual tuition but they were determined to do whatever was necessary to ensure she got the education she deserved. Jason’s second sister is currently attending Stony Brook University but hopes to start medical school next year. Despite receiving support from family and friends, Jason knew that his acceptance to Carnegie Mellon University created an additional amount of stress and anxiety for his family.
My parents have worked so hard to ensure that we will have a better future. They’re stressed not only with financial burden but also with the fear that they can’t help my sisters and me accomplish our dreams. With this scholarship, I can put both my parents’ and my mind at ease.
While most students would be celebrating their admission to this elite school, Jason asked himself “How much would it cost? Is it possible for me to pursue my own dreams? How much more am I adding onto my family’s already overwhelming burden?”
The Wexler Scholarship afforded Jason the opportunity to finally celebrate his achievement. “My parents have worked so hard to ensure that we will have a better future. They’re stressed not only with financial burden but also with the fear that they can’t help my sisters and me accomplish our dreams. With this scholarship, I can put both my parents’ and my mind at ease. I can go to college without financially burdening my parents and in four years when I graduate, I can tell them, ‘We did it!’ ”
Unfortunately, Jason’s story is not a unique one at Stuyvesant. As we all know and likely experienced, our School provides the opportunity for students to pursue their dreams and receive their deserved recognition. The cost is usually the only thing that stands in their way. While this year the Alumni Association hit an all-time high, granting scholarships amounting to more than $90,000 to 39 deserving students, we know this is just a drop in the bucket for what is needed.
Your contribution will allow our most deserving students to pursue their dreams.
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If you want to support students in their studies beyond Stuyvesant, consider creating a new scholarship or donating to an established one today! You can read about each of our current scholarships here.