2019 Scholarship Recipient


The Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund is pleased to announce the recipient of our 2019 scholarship. This scholarship fund was established to recognize and assist students who have lost a parent to substance abuse. This applicant’s story stood out among the rest and we are proud to award $1,000 to assist in her academic journey.

2019 Scholarship Recipient

Alexandra Tulowiecki, Syracuse University

Quote from the winning essay: “There was no easy way to cope with the loss of both of my parents within four years, but I was able to get through this time with the help of my high school social worker. Instead of bottling up my anger, grief, and confusion, we met once a week to talk throughout high school, and we continue to get together throughout my college years. Sharing my story helps me cope, because I want to save others through it. I want to be a support for other children with addicted parents, to help them through it.”

Get to Know Alexandra Tulowiecki

We’d like to formally introduce our 2019 Scholarship Recipient, Alexandra Tulowiecki. Alexandra (Lexi) is a senior at Syracuse University studying social work, psychology, and forensic science. The Lisa Michelle Memorial Fund was established to assist and recognize students who have lost a parent to substance abuse. We are proud to award a $1,000 scholarship to Lexi this year.

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Lexi. I graduated from Liverpool High School in 2016 with an advanced regents diploma with honors and mastery in math and science. I am starting my senior year at Syracuse University this fall, and I am a triple major studying social work, psychology, and forensic science. I love reading, particularly psychological thrillers. I’m a huge fan of country music, with Hunter Hayes being my absolute favorite. I also love spending time with my friends, my very large family, my grandparents, my little sister, my boyfriend, and my three cats. I would also like to mention my high school social worker Mrs. P because she is the entire reason I am studying social work, someday I hope to be just like her.

Q: Imagine yourself 10 years from now. What goals and ambitions do you have for yourself, personally, academically, and professionally?

In ten years, I hope to be a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I love helping others and would enjoy working at a hospital or with children in my future. It is also important to advocate for heroin addiction and alcohol addiction, and I hope to be more involved in these issues in my future. I also hope to have adopted a dog, and maybe live on my own and have started a family.

Q: Aside from a college degree, what do you hope to gain from your college experience?

Aside from obtaining a college degree, I hope to grow in my relationship with God. I am a Christian, and my freshman year I joined a Christian organization on campus known as Cru. It has been very influential in who I am as a person, and the support I have through the staff and other students has helped me through my grief so much.

Q: What motivates you to continue working towards accomplishing your goals?

My family, particularly my parents and my little sister, are what motivate me to accomplish my goals. My mother and father raised me to love with my whole heart, and help others however I can. I know that even though they are not physically here with me, they are cheering me on from Heaven. My little sister, Catrina, inspires me every day to work hard and follow my dreams. She is the strongest person I know, and I am so proud to be her big sister.

Q: What advice would you give to other student who have been through circumstances similar to yours?

My biggest advice for anyone who has lost a loved one to substance abuse is to take that pain, that sadness, and that hurt and use it for something positive. Personally, I find it helpful to volunteer at the hospital and help others going through similar situations. Losing a loved one changes everything. It is crucial to find positive outlets such as exercising, talking to friends and family, or listening to music. Do what you love, and understand that nothing is your fault. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason.