The University of Connecticut has created a scholarship in the honor of late-UConn student Justin Niezrecki with a goal of raising $50,000 by June 30, 2021 to permanently endow the scholarship.
“Justin was one week from graduating as an engineer when he could not go on,” the UConn Foundation wrote on their website. “In Justin’s case, depression was deep under the surface.”
Niezrecki was described by the UConn Foundation as outgoing, happy and very involved across UConn.
“He had every reason to live,” the UConn Foundation wrote. “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.”
Niezrecki was a seventh-semester electrical engineering student at his time of passing, and was heavily involved in organizations across campus, including Engineering Ambassadors, the 3D Printing Club, the Engineering Student Leadership Council and the Gamers Club.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the Niezrecki family and the UConn community,” the UConn Foundation said in a statement. “The Justin Niezrecki Scholarship Fund was established with support from his friends and family in consultation with his parents, Chithra and Richard Niezrecki.”
Donations toward the scholarship will support undergraduate students in the School of Engineering, or students majoring in biology, chemistry, physics or psychology, according to the UConn Foundation. Priority consideration will be given to students who have overcome obstacles such as socioeconomic or educational disadvantages, students who are members of groups that are underrepresented at UConn or students who have lived and/or worked in diverse environments.
Niezrecki died December 6, 2019, and is remembered by family, friends and the UConn community.
The Mental Health Services of Student Health & Wellness can be reached at 860-486-4705 for a telehealth or phone appointment.
24/7 Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255