The annual Stein Family College Scholarship of the Tidewater Jewish Foundation was awarded this month to Brett Pomerantz, a Hebrew Academy of Tidewater graduate, as well as a recent graduate of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake. The four-year scholarship for a Jewish student in Tidewater is for up to $10,000 per year.
When he was not volunteering as a Marshal Ambassador for new students to the high school, volunteering as part of National Honor Society or tutoring other students in mathematics, Brett could usually be found with the Technology Student Association (TSA), where he served as vice-president, treasurer, and most recently, as president. He says he has thoroughly enjoyed his involvement and leadership in TSA, and that it’s a tremendous value-add to the school because it, “gives opportunities for people to express themselves through technology.”
When not at school, Brett spent time volunteering around the Jewish community. Highly active in BBYO, Brett has served as leader of Jewish Involvement, fundraising chair, and recruitment/ member involvement chair. For many years, Brett has also volunteered when his synagogue, Congregation Beth El, has hosted the Norfolk Emergency Shelter Team (NEST). “I think volunteering at NEST is fun. It’s a good thing to do, to help people who aren’t as fortunate as I am,” he says.
Brett is looking forward to spending his fifth summer at Capital Camps in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, where he will be a cabin counselor for third through fifth grade campers.
In the fall, Brett will enter the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech, with plans to study mechanical engineering. He says he is looking forward to connecting with friends from Tidewater who are also Tech students, and is very excited for the numerous opportunities for engineering internships. Brett is also eager to get hands-on experience and learn from those already excelling in the field of mechanical engineering, and is confident Virginia Tech is the best place to do just that.
“I want to study mechanical engineering because it’s like the Swiss Army Knife of engineering. You need to know a lot of things about many things—I need to know electrical, nuclear, civil engineering components to be successful in mechanical engineering. I want to focus on robotics because robots are awesome. I want to be able to build anything from scratch to help solve problems,” he says.
The Stein Family College Scholarship was established in 2009 in memory of Arlene Stein who did not complete college because of financial hardship. Jerry Stein, her beloved husband, passed away in 2014. The Tidewater Jewish Foundation works closely with the Stein Family in administering this generous scholarship to a deserving Hampton Roads teen.
Prior recipients of the scholarship include Morgan Conley (Brandeis University ’13), Eric Smith (University of Virginia ’14), Marissa Arager (George Mason University ’15), Avi Malkin (College of William and Mary ’16), Dinar Yusufov (James Madison University ’17), Amanda Gladstone (Virginia Tech ’18), and Dana Cohen (Virginia Tech ’19).
To learn more about the scholarship, contact Amy Weinstein, director of development at TJF, at 757-965-6105 or firstname.lastname@example.org.