This September, the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation presented Jason Shandler ’18 with the organization’s scholarship for college juniors. The honor — awarded to 28 college students this year — recognizes children of policemen or firefighters killed or permanently injured in the line of duty, according to a NLEAFCF press release.
Shandler’s father, Howard Shandler, was a police officer in the 1990s in the New York Police Department, but was permanently injured on the job. Since then, Shandler says his father has had five knee surgeries and retired from the NYPD.
Shandler described the experience as a difficult trade-off between being able to spend more time with his father and managing the consequences of his injury.
“While it’s been great to have him home, it’s been difficult to see him in pain,” he said. “My dad was proud [that] even though he hasn’t been with force for a while, he was still able to help the family.”
Shandler was awarded the scholarship for his scholastic and service-based achievements, according to an NLEAFCF press release.
“Jason has demonstrated leadership among his peers and exceptional scholastic achievements as well as contributing his time and energy to community service,” said NLEAFCF president and founder Al Kahn in the release. “We are proud to be a part of helping Jason achieve his academic goals.”
The recognition follows Shandler’s reception of the Vincent Bennett Jr. Memorial Scholarship in 2014, which he described as a “huge help” to him and his family.
“I’m super excited,” he said. “It takes a lot of stress off of me at Cornell, and I realize that after I graduate I’ll be in the best position possible, which couldn’t have happened without the scholarship.”