Elliot (Eli) Shavalian ’14YC realized the benefits of a Yeshiva University education and enormous impact of donor generosity before even stepping foot on the Wilf campus. During a recent Thank a Thon event, which Eli was characteristically staffing, he remarked, “When I was applying to colleges, I would not have seriously considered YU as an option if it weren’t for their helpful financial aid package. I could have easily gone to UCLA and never discovered the awesome opportunities I received during my time here at YU.” He continued, “If it weren’t for the generous contributions of the amazing donors, I doubt that I would have explored my Judaism any further, and I know for sure that I would not have had the opportunities at other universities that I had here.”
Eli came to YU from a traditional Jewish background and found his niche in YU’s JSS-Mechina program, which enhances Jewish learning and Hebrew language skills in a warm, inclusive environment. Almost immediately, Eli began volunteering and joining campus clubs. His outgoing personality is infectious and he has personally improved extracurricular activities throughout the campus. All of Eli’s advisors and professors agree that his chosen major of Psychology is perfect fit.
Eli is currently Psychology Club President and a Research Assistant in Dr. Cohen’s Cognitive Psychology Lab. He is also the Head Resident Adviser for Rubin Residence Hall, the Student Life Committee Co-Chairman, and a Student Ambassador for the Office of Admissions; all of which allow Eli to meet new students and make them feel comfortable on campus. Additionally, Eli is the Director of Marketing for Yeshiva College Dramatics Society and a Foursquare Campus Ambassador. Every Wednesday-in his spare time-Eli hosts a radio show called “Welcome to the Heist With DJ E-Shavz” at 11:00 PM on wyur.net.
Eli realizes that none of these opportunities would have been possible were it not for the generous YU donors who helped fund his tuition. “I think making an education possible for somebody is particularly important because you are opening that person’s life to a whole new world of opportunities. By helping someone get an education, you are giving that person the opportunity to become the next Nobel Prize winner or Poet Laureate or a number of other titles, but ultimately, you are giving them the opportunity to give back to society and make this a better place for all,” he says.