Engineering Scholarship Helps Educate CNY Students

Stanley Young dedicated his career to the field of engineering after receiving his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University. He eventually set out to teach others in the field by serving as a professor of engineering and construction technology at SUNY Farmingdale. Young passed away in 1977, but his desire to help others achieve success is carrying on in the lives of students at his alma mater.

Established in 1999 after the passing of Young’s wife, Arlene; the Stanley and Arlene Young Memorial Education Fund provides financial assistance to Central New York students at Syracuse University who are pursuing master or doctorate degrees at the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

This scholarship is especially valuable today, when graduate and post-graduate degrees are highly regarded in the job market.

“In the field of engineering, your salary and earning potential is largely dependent on getting an advanced degree,” said Melissa Whipps, director of foundation relations at Syracuse University.

Earning these degrees isn’t easy when the high ticket price they come with is factored in. In Syracuse, the average student loan balance is $29,200, according to the Office of the New York State Comptroller.

“Without the availability of scholarships like that of the Youngs, high quality students from this area might choose to go elsewhere or might feel like graduate school wasn’t an available option for them,” said Whipps.

The Young Fund is administered by the Central New York Community Foundation. Since its inception, the Young Fund has awarded $127,500 in scholarships to eligible students who exhibited excellent skills and work ethic in their undergraduate or professional careers. Another $29,850 in scholarships will be distributed to the next round of recipients this summer.

Anthony Terzolo is entering his last year in the mechanical and aerospace engineering graduate program at Syracuse, after enjoying astrophysics research and conferences during his undergraduate studies at SUNY Cortland.

Terzolo originally planned to take out loans to attend graduate school, but receiving a scholarship from the Young Fund took that need away.

“The scholarship allowed me to really focus on my studies rather than trying to work a job and attend grad school,” said Terzolo “It allowed me to take a step back, focus, and do well.”

Terzolo plans to stay in Syracuse after he graduates in 2018. “I am very interested in the robotics sector and Syracuse right now is really large in that area in terms of companies looking into autonomous vehicles and drone technology,” he said.

For Scarlett Davidson, a past recipient, the Young Fund helped her go back to school, completely changing her life trajectory. After living in Oregon and raising her children, Davidson returned to Syracuse to complete a degree in computer engineering.

Davidson now works as a software engineer for a defense contractor. “I am very thankful. I had no idea this fund even existed.” said Davidson. “It turned my world around.”

The Young Fund has grown in recent years, allowing more scholarships to be awarded. “Now we will be able to stagger it,” said Whipps. “We can award it every year, so that at any given time there will be both a first-year student and a second-year graduate student receiving the scholarship. Leaving an endowment like the Youngs did can make a difference for so many over a long period of time.”

We can only imagine how pleased Stanley and Arlene Young would be to witness the many bright minds whose lives they have forever influenced through their generosity. Their legacy will live on in those they have helped for generations to come.

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