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Our JFEW Scholars impress us endlessly with their ambition and drive. Their creativity and tenacity are an inspiration, and we are so proud to celebrate their stories and successes. If you are a current JFEW Scholar and would like to share your recent accomplishments, please email us at info (at) jfew (dot) org!


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Top tags: Binghamton University  New York City College of Technology  Stern College  Stony Brook University  SUNY Geneseo  City Tech  Baruch College  Hunter College  SUNY International Relations Scholar  College of Staten Island  JFEW Roosevelt House Scholars  Leadership and Career Development Scholars  Queens College  UJA CUNY Hillels Program 

Meet Scholar Estie Szczupakiewicz from the College of Staten Island

Posted By Holly Rosen Fink, Wednesday, February 13, 2019
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2019



Estie Szczupakiewicz goes to the College of Staten Island (CSI) where she is studying English and Linguistics. Her internship was at Children at Play on Staten Island. She is very active in the Jewish community, both here and in Israel. 

We talked to Estie about her current experience as a JFEW CUNY Hillel Scholar and what it means to her.


JFEW: What has been the most meaningful lesson you have learned or experience that you have had while in college?


ES: To never take anything personally. Professors might say things that can be hurtful, but it is important to not take it personally and stay professional. That may sound weird, but I was a sensitive person for a while and took everything personally. I used to think that professors would think I was “dumb.” But then I realized that I can’t take it all so personally and I’ve been able to be myself more. 


JFEW: What accomplishment during your time in college are you proudest of? 


ES: I worked closely with my professor in the CSI motor speech lab and became her assistant.


JFEW: What’s the most important thing you learned by participating in the JFEW program? 


ES: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. During my internship I learned a lot from asking a lot of questions. 


JFEW: What does being a JFEW Scholar mean to you?


ES: Support being a JFEW Scholar. The scholarship also helped me tremendously. Knowing that I had the support from all ends has kept me motivated. 


JFEW: How do you envision your future when you graduate? What do you hope to do?


ES: I hope to get my Masters in Speech Language Pathology. I am also considering a PhD one day. 

Tags:  College of Staten Island 

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Congratulations to JFEW Scholar, Stephanie!

Posted By Jamie Spence, Wednesday, July 18, 2018


JFEW Scholar Stephanie Roffe recently graduated from Stern College! We asked her about her most proud accomplishments in college and she said, "There are so many things I am proud I accomplished in the past few years. I majored in Math. I participated in amazing microbiology and biotechnology research. I played soccer. And the list goes on and on. Many of these experiences were only made possible by The Foundation and I am very grateful for the generosity." 

Stephanie we are so proud of you and all you have accomplished, and we can't wait to see what is next! 

Tags:  Stern College 

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Congratulations to our Scholar, Kanupriya!

Posted By Jamie Spence, Wednesday, July 18, 2018


JFEW Scholar Kanupriya Pandey graduated from Binghamton University this May! Kanupriya says that her most proud accomplishment while at school was the opportunity she was given to intern at the Clinton Foundation and to meet former President Clinton. She says, "This internship was arranged as part of my JFEW-SUNY Summer Internship, and it was a really meaningful experience for me. I made some amazing connections, and meeting a former U.S President was absolutely surreal, and a major privilege." 

In addition to filling us in on her exciting achievements, Kanupriya also left some great advice for incoming college students, "Be resilient. You're going to face some challenges a long the way, be pushed out of your comfort zone, and have to confront some things you aren't use to. Sometimes things will all work out well in the end, and sometimes they won't. It's important to not let it stop you. Resilience isn't something you're born with, but rather something you develop over time." 

Congratulations Kanupriya, we can't wait to see where you will go next!  

Tags:  Binghamton University 

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Congratulations to our Scholar, Elianny!

Posted By Jamie Spence, Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2018


JFEW Scholar Elianny Espinal just graduated from Stony Brook University! Elianny was a Psychology and Theater Arts double major, and a Creative Writing and Literature minor. She was awarded the Larry Roher Entrepenurial Achievement Award during her time at Stony Brook, for her incredible achievements serving in a leadership role on her campus. She was recognized for establishing The Voice of the Diaspora, which is an initiative created to showcase the art of immigrants. 

In addition to her recognized achievements, Elianny also wrote and directed her own play, and studied abroad for a semester in Florence, Italy. She says of her experience abroad, "I found myself and some pieces that were missing, I learned about another culture and its politics, I learned about my second home away from home; it truly changed my life." Elianny says that her experiences at Stony Brook allowed her to truly live every day to the fullest.

Congratulations, Elianny! 

Tags:  Stony Brook University 

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Congratulations to JFEW/SUNY graduate, Erika!

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, June 11, 2018


Our JFEW Scholar Erika Esquivel recently graduated from SUNY Geneseo! During her time at Geneseo she was honored at the annual Leadership Awards and Recognition Ceremony where she was recognized for her outstanding contributions to the campus community. 

Erika gave us some advice for incoming freshman. She says, "The most meaningful lesson I learned at SUNY Geneseo was to always shoot your shot. You have to take a chance and open doors for yourself, don't expect a door to open on it's own." 

Congratulations on your accomplishments, Erika! We can't wait to see where you'll go next. 

Tags:  SUNY Geneseo 

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Congratulations to our JFEW/SUNY Scholar, Druzell

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, June 11, 2018


JFEW Scholar Druzell Smith recently graduated from SUNY Geneseo! Druzell says that her experiences at Geneseo completely pushed her out of her comfort zone because she was so far away from home. She says of her experience, "College was a completely different ball game; every class, professor, and semester brought a new and different challenge. If there was one thing I wish I knew [freshman year] it would be that the people around you could be your biggest support. Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors and get advice from them. Talk to your peers and see what they are doing to be successful. Get help if needed and if and when you fall just remember that the most important thing is to get up dust yourself off and keep going." 

Druzell says that her most proud accomplishment while at Geneseo was starting the Give Back Book Drive on campus. She had the idea for the book drive her Junior year after realizing how many old textbooks she still had that were in good shape. She realized that if she created a place where people could donate their old books for future students to utilize she could greatly help fellow students and peers who might struggle to afford their textbooks each semester. She says, "The program was one of my most meaningful accomplishments because there were times when I struggled to obtain my textbooks. I am happy that I was able to do something that would help people for years to come. My advice would be to try and make a difference, whether big or small do something that will help those around you." 

Druzell, you are an inspiration to us all! 


Tags:  SUNY Geneseo 

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Congratulations to our graduate, Lydia

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, June 11, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, June 13, 2018


JFEW Scholar Lydia Senatus recently graduated from Stony Brook University! Lydia graduated with a degree in Economics after deciding to make a switch from Health Sciences after her freshman year, and she says that her decision to switch to a major that she truly enjoyed was one of the best decisions she made in college.

While in school, Lydia worked as a peer mentor to assist fellow students and peers in applying to college scholarships. Every semester she hosted writing workshops to assist students in making their applications much stronger, and improving their ability to fund their education. She says of her experience, "I think the most important part of creating a legacy is not what you as an individual have accomplished, but rather how you have helped other people with their accomplishments."

Lydia, we are so inspired by your tenacity and drive, and we can't wait to see what is next for you! 

Tags:  Stony Brook University 

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Congratulations to JFEW/SUNY graduate, Allyson!

Posted By Jamie Spence, Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Our JFEW/SUNY Scholar Allyson Schmelzer recently graduated from SUNY Geneseo! We asked her a few questions, so that she could share some of her wisdom:


What was the most meaningful lesson that you learned while in college? "The most meaningful lesson I learned in college is that knowledge truly is power and every experience and opportunity you can take advantage of, you should. Never be afraid to put yourself out there and always work hard to try and achieve your goals."

What do you wish that you knew when you were a freshman? "I wish I had known that it is okay to make mistakes and it is okay to put yourself out of your comfort zone. This is how you become a stronger person both academically and personally."

What was your most proud accomplishment during your time in college? "My most proud accomplishment during my college career is hard to determine, I have had many moments that made me proud of myself. One of the big ones would be getting accepted into the JFEW SUNY program."


We are so proud of you Allyson, and we can't wait to see where you'll go next!

Tags:  SUNY Geneseo 

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JFEW Scholar Elana Apfelbaum is hosting STEM events on her campus

Posted By Jamie Spence, Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2018


Elana is a Junior at Stern College for Women and a double major in Biochemistry and Computer Science. This past fall she participated in the Yeshiva University hackathon where she had the opportunity to engage with, and meet other computer science students. She says she was extremely impressed by how much they were able to accomplish in 24 hours by collaborating together. Because of her experience, she was inspired to organize an all-women's hackathon event at Stern College to help bring confidence to her female STEM peers and encourage them to get involved. She says, "By making the event more accessible to all levels, I hope to inspire others to participate in future hackathons."

Additionally, Elana is also on the board of the Computer Science club at Stern, where she helps to plan events such as the hackathon, and is a co-editor of Derech HaTeva, which is a bible and science journal at Stern. Elana was also recently invited to compete in the Google Games computer science competition where she and her teammates worked to solve a variety of puzzle games.

We are so impressed with Elana's passion for the STEM field!

Tags:  Stern College 

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Check out our JFEW/SUNY Scholar Tamar Ashdot

Posted By Jamie Spence, Monday, April 16, 2018
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2018


Tamar, a senior and double major in English and Judaic Studies at Binghamton University debuted a photo exhibition titled, "With Love, From Rosario". Last summer, Tamar was given the opportunity to travel to Rosario, Argentina as a Harpur Fellow to volunteer as a teaching assistant. She says she was able to make connections with people and examine Jewish culture through community service.


Check out this wonderful article about her experiences in Argentina and the photo exhibition that she put together upon her return.

Tags:  Binghamton University 

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