Chaim Speech

Chaim, ENG'21

  • Major Computer Science
  • Hometown Brooklyn, NY

Chaim, ENG’21, a computer science major from Brooklyn, New York, told his story of taking a drastically different path from most in his family to attend college. Raised in the insular Hasidic Jewish community in Williamsburg, he could not write a paragraph of English or add fractions until he was 15, when he then took the leap to attend a city public high school. Chaim later was accepted and received financial aid to attend Penn—something he explained as “a dream come true.”

Once at Penn, “I had the ability to explore a myriad of disciplines my freshman year and, while I decided to transfer to the school of engineering to focus on computer science, I am still able to pursue my other interests through my minors in mathematics and philosophy in the college,” Chaim remarked. He has also found time to give back to others by tutoring students in West Philadelphia public schools.

Chaim thanked specifically the Lois & Henry McNeil Scholarship and the Chalfin family for their generosity throughout the years.

“Thank you for truly changing my life,” Chaim said. “Thank you for turning my hopes and aspirations into a reality. Thank you for giving me, and others, the opportunity of a lifetime.”