Justin Niezrecki was one week from graduating as an engineer when he could not go on. In Justin’s case, depression was deep under the surface. Outwardly he was a happy, outgoing individual. Only close friends and family had any idea of the pain that was buried under the surface. He had every reason to live; wonderful friends, a mile long list of accomplishments, and a career at DEKA research that would have promoted STEM to thousands of people around the world. He was surrounded by loving parents, his sister, twin brother and extended family along with many dear close friends.
At UConn, Justin helped others through his work in FIRST robotics, he carried the banner of STEM education to less privileged areas both throughout the country and around the world. He was on the road to inspiring a new generation of engineers to solve the world’s toughest problems.
To carry on his work, a scholarship in his name has been established at the UConn Foundation. Gifts to the Justin Niezrecki Scholarship Fund will provide scholarship support for continuing undergraduate students enrolled in the University’s School of Engineering or College of Liberal Arts and Sciences majoring in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Psychology or Engineering and who demonstrate financial need and are meritorious. Priority consideration will be given to students who: (1) have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic or educational disadvantage; or (2) are members of groups that are underrepresented at the University of Connecticut; or (3) have experience living or working in diverse environments. The scholarship will be administered and held in accordance with the UConn Foundation’s policies
Our goal is to raise gifts and commitments of $50,000 or more on or before June 30, 2021 to permanently endow the Justin Niezrecki Scholarship, which will be held and administered by the UConn Foundation in accordance with its policies and procedures as amended. If gifts and commitments to the Justin Niezrecki Scholarship do not reach $50,000 on or before June 30, 2021 the scholarship fund will be fully expendable for the same purpose.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing depression, there is help. Please use these resources to prevent more families from experiencing this heartache:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: text HOME or 741741
- Resources for Connecticut: https://namict.org/find-support/crisis-resources/