Memorial Fund Honors Former Student’s Passion for Learning


Courtesy of the Uzair Qureshi Memorial Fund

Uzair Qureshi was a part of San Juan Hill’s Class of 2016, before tragically passing away from a rare type of cancer, Ewings Sarcoma, in 2015. His family has continued to honor his memory through a memorial fund dedicated to pediatric cancer research and by providing scholarships to promising seniors.

Cooper Aitken, Managing Editor

A life lost, yet his legacy continues.

Uzair Qureshi was a dynamic part of the Class of 2016 at San Juan Hills, known for his dedication to his academics and his active involvement in the orchestra and swim team. In 2015 he passed away, following a two year battle with the rare cancer Ewings Sarcoma. He never got to graduate with his peers. 

That same year, the Qureshi family created the Uzair Qureshi Memorial Fund in his memory. While the fund raises money to support pediatric cancer research, it focuses on awarding scholarships to SJHHS seniors each year. 

“He was a scholar student. He loved learning, he loved studying, and so we decided to start a scholarship foundation to help seniors with the burden of college.” said senior Azmeer Qureshi, Uzair’s brother. 

With help from orchestra director Dean McElroy, each year the first SJHHS orchestra concert is dedicated to Uzair and the foundation, raising money for the fund. However,  students involved with orchestra are not the only ones eligible to apply. 

“Our foundation is split into two parts, we focus on some students from the music department and some students from the entire school, who can apply for the academic scholarship,” said Azmeer Qureshi.

To apply for the scholarship, seniors must submit an essay, which the family utilizes to decide which students to award. The family mainly bases their decision on which students they believe will use the scholarship to the best of their advantage. Students can submit their applications via email before April 2 and the winners are awarded during the annual Senior Awards Night. 

The foundation aims to award 3-5 winners annually, with a scholarship of $1000 to $1500. However, due to the fluctuating donations each year the number of recipients and amount of money awarded changes yearly as well.

The foundation holds raffles and fundraisers with local businesses throughout the year, as well as accepting donations through their Instagram and Facebook. The donations raised are contributed towards pediatric cancer research, as well as the scholarship fund, despite the fact that the youngest Qureshi is graduating from San Juan this year. 

“We are working with Mr. McElroy for future sustainability, as well as Mrs. Scherf and some of the other faculty at the school to keep the legacy living.” said Azmeer. 

According to the foundation, around 30 seniors have received scholarships in the eight years since Uzair’s passing, and its impact reaches beyond just the students who receive the scholarship.

“It’s been one of my favorite memories in high school.” said Azmeer Qureshi. “Being able to help [recipients] pursue their dreams and whatever goals they have has been one of my favorite memories.”