It’s Here! The 5th Annual Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund’s Discover Your Passion™ Competition

Do you know a student who would like to pursue a passion further? Violin? Soccer? Chess? Science? Drawing? Video Game Design? Debate? Social Justice? Improv?

If they are in 2nd to 12th grades in New York City, then they are eligible for the fifth annual Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund’s Discover Your Passion™ Competition. Applications will be accepted from April 22, 2017 until September 15, 2017. Previous applicants who did not receive an award are welcome to re-apply. 

The Discover Your Passion™ Competition,  administered by The School Choice Group in partnership with The Parents of Accelerated Learners, NYC [PALNYC] 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 child 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 (public, private, charter, homeschool) an opportunity to explore their unique gifts, talents and passions in an area of their choice. The $25,000 Scholarship Fund will be awarded to children who show exceptional promise in academic fields, sports, music, the arts, community service, entrepreneurship, technology or other disciplines. The submitted work must be generated by, and substantive work must be performed entirely by, the student.  Parents may be involved with practical aspects of the project subject to age-appropriate demands.  However, significant parental involvement will disqualify entries. The following criteria, weighted as indicated, will be used for the selection of scholarship award winners: 30% quality, process and scope of entry; 30% originality & creativity; 30% depth of knowledge or apparent passion for domain mastery; 10% use of funds to achieve desired goal.    

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $5000 toward the pursuit of his or her choice; there will be up to 9 more awardees, to receive appropriate support for their projects, for a total of $25,000. Finalists will be selected from each of three age categories: 2-5th grade; 6-8th grade; 9-12th grade. The scholarship winners will be announced on October 11, 2017.

For complete information about the scholarship and to apply see:

To read about the previous 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Perelstein Scholars, please click below:

2013: 2013/10/Scholarship-winners- press-release-3.pdf
2014: 2014/10/The-Michael-Perelstein -Memorial-Scholarship-Fund-Discover-Your-Passion- press-release.pdf
2015: 2015/10/Press-Release-2015- DYP-Finalists.pdf

Support may be provided for any activities identified by the student, from travel, to mentorships, to attendance at relevant programs, to online courses, 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. Funds are not intended to supplant a family’s existing expenditures but must be shown to add to opportunities available to the awardees.

Elizabeth Perelstein, the Chair and Founder for the School Choice Group, established this scholarship fund in 2013 to honor her late husband, Michael Perelstein.  Michael died at 56 years old, while he was riding with the Westchester Cycle Club, one of his personal passions.  A child of Holocaust survivors, Michael was directed by his parents to consider career and life choices based on practical or financial reasons, and not by his personal interests and unique talents.  The Perelstein children follow ed a different path, pursuing their own passions. Michael then realized the true importance of nurturing passion and talent and even changed careers to support his own.   As a result, supporting the passions and talents of children is the mission of The Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Given the volume of applications that we expect this year from elementary, middle, and high school students across the 5 boroughs, we strongly encourage applicants to submit early.

Please feel free to forward to any NYC families, colleagues, and students (5 boroughs; private, public, charter, homeschool; grades 2-12) who may be interested in this exciting opportunity!


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 )

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: