Introducing The ‘Discover Your Passion’ Winners

PALNYC is pleased to partner with School Search Solutions for the Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund ‘Discover Your Passion’ Competition. After going through all the entires, we learned that NYC’s Got Talent! And a lot of it…

We’re thrilled to share the winners, who will be presented with their awards on Saturday, October 26 at the NYC G&T Symposium at NYU’s Kimmel Center.


  • Jalen P. is an 8th grade tap dancer from Brooklyn who attends the Birch Wathen Lenox School. Jalen will use his $5000 Michael Perelstein scholarship award money to diversify his training and to produce a video for the purpose of encouraging other black males to pursue dance.
  • Jonathan and Michael M., from Queens, attend the Speyer Legacy School and are in grades 3 and 6, respectively. Jonathan is a chess wiz. He began his chess career at age 4, and won the NY State Chess Championship for 1st grade at 7 years old. Michael’s interest in math and physics were inspired by Star Trek. His goal is to become an astrophysicist. The scholarship will enable the brothers to attend summer programs to advance their passions for chess and mathematics. They were awarded $3500 to be shared equally.
  • Gregory W., a resident of Manhattan, is a 4th grader at St. Bernard’s School. His current passion is computer programming, Gregory has made over 100 computer games over the past year. Gregory plans to use his $3,500 scholarship to attend classes which will improve his skills and introduce him to like-minded peers.
  • Lauren S. is a 3rd grade musician from Staten Island at P.S. 29 – Bardwell School. She plays several instruments, focusing on piano and voice. Lauren plans to use her scholarship money to diversify her music lessons. She will now be able to study voice, piano and perhaps electric guitar with her $1,500 award.
  • Melina M. a resident of Staten Island, is an 8th grader at I.S. 75. Melina has been drawing for as long as she can remember. Melina plans to use her $1,500 award to purchase art supplies and to take courses in sculpture and portfolio presentation.
  • Joshua D. is an 8th grade aspiring politician from Manhattan at St. Paul’s School. Josh plans to use his $1,500 scholarship to participate in Monumental, National Youth Leadership
    Council’s National Service-Learning Conference, to be held in Washington DC.

About the Competition:

The Discover Your Passion™ Competition encourages parents, students, teachers and schools to identify and showcase exemplary creativity, intellectual pursuits and talent of school children. The competition also attempts to bring to the foreground the full range of what talent can be – from the academically advanced “how does it work?” student to the kid who loves animals and has the potential to harness that passion to be the next Temple Grandin or Jane Goodall.

The Competition offers New York City-based students in kindergarten through 8th grade, an opportunity to explore their unique gifts, talents and passions in an area of their choice. The $15,000 Scholarship Fund will be awarded to five children who show exceptional promise in academic fields, sports, music, the arts, social entrepreneurship, technology or other disciplines. The Grand Prize Winner receives $5000 toward the pursuit of his or her choice; 2 Second Place Winners receive $3500, and 2 Third Place Winners receive $1500, for a total of $15,000.  Finalists will be selected from the three categories: Kindergarten-2 grade; 3-5 grade; 6-8th grade.

Support may be provided for any activities identified by the student, from travel, to mentorships, to attendance at relevant programs, or equipment for the specific use of that child toward his or her desired goal.  Use of these funds is not prescribed by the program, but they must be designed to support the child’s passion. For the musically talented child, for example, the award could support lessons with a noted music instructor, or participation in an elite ensemble.

 About the NYC G&T Symposium

The NYC Gifted and Talented Symposium features keynote speaker Carol S. Dweck, PhD., one of the world’s leading researchers in the field of motivation whose widely acclaimed book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success explores how people succeed and how to foster success. Four strands of sessions include experts on talent development, social and emotional issues, the G&T process in NYC and supporting and advocating for twice exceptional and culturally diverse learners. A Curated Exhibit Hall offers a sampling of NYC’s best schools, programs and services for high potential youth, while the Education Technology ‘Ed Tech’ Discovery Showcase provides opportunities to explore web and app-based learning tools to support children and students. The Thought Leaders Roundtable discussion includes NYC’s most knowledgable and influential leaders in education.

To learn more about the event, visit or
Registration is available online for $99 at
The NYC Gifted & Talented

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: