For Jonathan Wosen, his love of science blossomed when he attended The Preuss School UCSD, a charter middle and high school for motivated, low-income students who strive to become the first in their families to graduate from college. Inspired by his teachers and the challenging, yet fun, classes, he became an active member of the Science Bowl and Lego Robotics teams in addition to other activities. He graduated from Preuss as co-valedictorian in 2009 and went on to receive his undergraduate degree in biology with a concentration in biochemistry and molecular biology from Williams College. Now, Wosen is in his first year of a Ph.D. program in immunology at Stanford University and plans to pursue a career in biomedical research.
Wosen attributes his success to the values instilled in him by his mother, an Ethiopian immigrant who raised Jonathan and his brother by herself.
“The confidence she imparted to me early-on gave me the courage to push myself and pursue my dreams,” he said. “With her support and the support and opportunities provided to me at Preuss, I knew I could achieve my goals.”
Wosen will share his story during Preuss’ annual benefit, The Preuss Promise: Lighting the Way on Friday, May 2. The festivities will begin at 6 p.m. in the Price Center East on the UC San Diego campus.
The event starts with a cocktail hour at The Loft featuring music, science demonstrations and a fine arts exhibit by Preuss students. After the cocktail hour, guests will enjoy an elegant dinner in the Price Center East ballroom with entertainment provided by the band NRG.
UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla will speak during the event, which will also highlight The Preuss School’s Campaign for Longer Learning Time. Expanded learning time is a fundamental tenet of the Preuss educational model, enabling the school to create a rigorous academic environment with the support students need to succeed. Preuss students are in school longer each day and for 23 more days a year than the typical student in California, which adds up to almost an entire extra academic year over the course of their middle and high school careers.
“The cost of the extra days of instruction is not covered by the state,” said Scott Barton, principal of The Preuss School UCSD. “Each and every gift to the campaign will help support the longer school day and school year at Preuss, making a tremendous difference to students for generations to come.”
The benefit will also feature a live auction with a variety of items up for bid including a seven-day voyage aboard the largest private residential yacht in the world, a walk-on role in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas at The Old Globe—one of San Diego’s favorite holiday traditions—and a one-week stay in a spectacular luxury home in San Jose del Cabo, Mexico.